Brought to you by TJ13 Forensics contributer Joao Lamberio
The Mercedes W08 has a lot to live up to, with it’s previous 3 iterations winning all there is to be won.From first impressions, the W08 has a level of detail not seen in any of the 2017 contenders.
The car retains the Mercedes tradition of not running much rake, but aside from this there are almost no carry over parts from W07 to W08.
The V6 turbo engine has undergone some revisions, and the news does not bode well for the non-Mercedes powered competition. Andy Green from Force India let slip that Mercedes have made an “unprecedented step” for 2017, delivering more power than their 2017 simulations accounted for.
Eye-catching features of the car revolve around the sidepods, which are tighter and and steeply undercut to provide a coke bottle shape, which is advantageous aerodynamically.
This has allowed large parts of the floor to be exposed, and this has been manipulated with a series of serrations on the floor edges at the rear, and folds at the front.
The front wing is a carry over part from last year, sized up to meet regulations and due to be heavily revised as testing continues.
The S-Duct is present, with a vent out the top of the thin nose, an evolution of last years concept.
The barge-boards either side of the car are an interesting aspect of design this year, and Mercedes have lit up imaginations with swathes of aero appendages either side of the driver. This area is critical in directing the received airflow from the front wing around the car. Small winglets protrude from the monocoque to further assist in optimising airflow to the rear of the car.
The car was unveiled without a “shark wing” in Silverstone, and did the first session of the Barcelone test in this guise. However as of the second session, Mercedes have debuted a shark wing of their own, which to this writers eyes appears more elegant than other interpretations.
Hovering a few inches behind this is a somewhat controversial T-wing, taking advantage of a rule change in October 2016, which has no allowed bodywork in this area. The purpose of the wing is to clear the airflow before it gets to the wider and lower rear wing of 2017.
The other surprising feature is the raised suspension arms of the car. Mercedes had a very low set up last year, as the sought to lower the centre of gravity. This year it has been raised to allow for better airflow, and according to Mercedes, greater flexibility in suspension setups and tyre usage.
The W08 looks to have been honed and developed over a large period of time, with details showing in every section of the car. Still the team to beat? The details all add up to a very impressive salvo by Mercedes, and they start the season as favourites from early showings.