In amongst all the testing and unveilings this season, we’ve seen familiar ideas being implemented by the teams.
In many aspects, 2017 front wings and body work have been used for various reasons. One is to get a longer lead time in development, something Red Bull have traditionally done. But there is also the hidden surprise, which will catch competitors unaware and leave the upgrade pipeline in a quandary.
This has happened before, with the Exhaust blown diffuser, the split turbo V6, flexing body work and many others.
TJ13 can exclusively reveal a quite spectacular Mercedes development that has so far gone unnoticed. Mercedes W09 has thus far been what many would say an evolution of its predecessor. Testing has not revealed any standout distinction, but Mercedes dropped an Easter egg, and TJ13 spotted it.
In promotional footage for the W09 paint scheme, Mercedes had a shot of the car from the rear which showed off some exceptionally chiseled sidepods.
There are channels cut into the sidepods that swoop down to the floor in an effort to utilise charged airflow in to the direction of the floor and possibly the sculpted rear suspension arms. The Mercedes seen in testing has an excessive amount of floor and a very narrow rear body. TJ13 believes that by channelling as much airflow as possible down to this area at the very highest speeds will provide a big gain in diffuser performance, similar to the blown diffuser era using coanda effect exhausts. The payback here is higher efficiency for every point of downforce, a Mercedes ethos signature over the last 5 seasons.
Crucially, other teams would not be able to replicate this development in its entirety due to crash structure testing and the complexity of the side pod structure, not to mention the intricacies involved of bargeboard interaction, a huge area of development this season.
Mercedes will likely be honing the idea in the wind tunnel for maximum performance, but for it to get to 1:1 build and being painted in a promo video, expect to see this sooner rather than later.