Mercedes continues to firmly believe in the W13 project. In Belgium, the Brackley team presented major modifications to the single-seater, going far beyond simply adjusting the load level to match the characteristics of the Belgian track. The silver arrows were actually equipped revisiting the foundation at the entrance to the Venturi Canaltherefore we intend to intervene directly in the underbody, the central area of modern Formula One competitiveness.
The Brackley engineering department has redesigned the venturi inlet grille. The outer band has a reduced chord, therefore it is characterized by a slight outward bend e. facilitating the direction of air in the venturi channel to the diffuser, aiming for more load generation. For the same purpose, the various central elements of the Venturi grille have been redesigned in order to optimize the induction of vortices in the bottom and the vortex structure as a whole.
Once again, Mercedes is characterized by a different approach to development than its competitors. In fact, the bottom is an area in which an aerodynamic load is directly created, but at the same time, the design of the sides determines the direction of flows to the rear and the outlet section of the diffuser, thereby determining the functioning of the bottom itself. McLaren, Williams and Aston Martin revolutionized beading philosophy in the first place, as delphinization limited the potential of previous architectures and the pulling load from below. On the other hand, Mercedes, despite having to manage an extremely narrow car body and especially limited in its work with dolphins, continues to focus development on the fund without abandoning the parties’ own setting.
There are many hypotheses on the table. It cannot be ruled out that the Brackley team is studying a fundamentally different car in the vein of 2023, devoting most of its resources to it and thus avoiding the current car tipping over. However, it is equally plausible that the team still believes in the concept of shrinking belliesbacked up by the board’s technical directive and changes made to the following rules that will desensitize dolphins, thus helping the Anglo-German team to extract the maximum potential from the current concept.
While waiting to find out the technical direction taken by the team in the near future, interventions continue to be fixed in other areas of the car. On the front wing, the transitional connection of the flaps with the vertical bars of the end shields has been improved., in an attempt to reduce pressure peaks and losses, as well as the quality of the flow towards the vehicle body. Instead, check from behind new low load wingdifferent from those used so far. The wing keeps the main profile straight, but the upper flap is changed in chord and angle. In parallel, the outer vertical bars of the end plates have been changed, and in the new specification they have a straight trailing edge and no longer break like they used to.
FP | Carlo Platella
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