Gary Anderson: Mercedes upgrade looks like real progress

The British Grand Prix is ​​a home race for both the Mercedes Formula 1 team and its drivers and it has pushed the boat out in terms of car developments which make a big statement about the team’s progress in understanding their problems.

The changes suggest the team now have a good understanding of how the car works and are now introducing components to improve its performance.

The upgrades are to the front suspension and its fairings, the intake vanes under the floor, the floor itself (which we see very little other than the outer edge) and the rear spoiler.

But two of these areas are particularly interesting.

The first is the change to the fairing around the front wishbones where they meet the chassis.

This fairing will act as a weather vane, pulling the airflow exiting the trailing edge of the front wing down (green lines) and improving its alignment with the upside-down wing section that Mercedes uses as support rear-view mirror and the sharpest turning vanes farther back on the sides of the frame.

This realigned flow will then improve flow consistency to the inner leading edge section of the subfloor.

In this view you can also see a much larger area of ​​the barge’s outer plank/separator (red lines). This is to separate the turbulent wake of the front wheel from the leading edge of the subfloor, especially when steering lock is applied.

Thanks to the new fairing at the inboard end of the front wishbone-frame intersection, Mercedes was able to reposition the guide vanes to the side of the frame.

These were first modified at Imola, but for the latest specification both vanes are now one piece components. Better flow towards them means better flow from their trailing edge and stronger vortices at the outer edges.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Qualifying Day Imola, Italy

The second, and most important, change is that Mercedes has joined the club with the detailing of the outer edge of the floor. I criticized that the details in this area were very primitive, but now Mercedes has taken the first positive steps.

The original version did the same as the new version but not powerfully enough to really influence the performance of the front corner of the subfloor.

This meant that all the work of generating the low pressure under the car was done by the diffuser. And when the sides of the ground were on the ground they induced porpoising, when they moved away from the ground they just lost too much performance.

Now with the larger exterior deflector/splitter area and those raised outlets on the edge of the floor with the vanes helping the internal splitters to direct airflow outwards, Mercedes is doing a lot more with that critical front corner of the floor.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Spanish Grand Prix Preparation Day Barcelona, ​​Spain

The arrows show how Mercedes tries to make the different airflows come together and work as one.

Obviously, some of these blades and their edges will generate much more powerful vortices than a simple flow of air. But their backward course won’t be much different from my flow lines.

To get to the next step, I’m pretty sure there’s still some work to do further back on the edge of the floor. This area is still pretty basic and will be far too critical for rear ride height.

But what Mercedes has introduced should be a step forward. All he has to do now is master the setup to go along with it all.

Thank you for your opinion!

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