Compare the new 2017 Mercedes with last year’s model

2017 F1 cars

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Mercedes’ rivals will be poring over the first images of the world champions’ new car for 2017. These interactive pictures show up the key differences between it and last year’s chassis.

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Use the slider below to transition between images of Mercedes’s new 2017 W08 and last year’s W07. Note some images may have been altered for ease of comparison and should not be used as a reference for measurements.

Side view

W08: Technical analysis of the new Mercedes
Although there are obvious limitations to the comparison above, one feature which stands out is the amount of bodywork beneath the nose on the 2017 Mercedes. The degree of detail on the bargeboards is remarkable, and stands in sharp contrast to the simpler designs sported by smaller teams.

This construction has a lot of work to do because of the increased amount of air being displaced by the wider front wheels and wing. Mercedes are clearly confident in the design, however, and Lewis Hamilton has reported that in the simulator it felt as if the car had an unrealistically high level of grip. Whether that proves to be the case will ultimately be determined by how well Pirelli’s new tyres perform.

At the time of writing Ferrari is the only other team to have appeared with a ‘T-wing’ in front of the rear wing. Mercedes has bucked the shark fin trend – for now, at least.

Front view

Again the slightly different angles on these two images makes for a tricky basis for comparison. Aside from the obvious changes due to the new regulations, which we are now well familiar with, one of the most noticeable differences between the new and old Mercedes can be found on the wing mirrors.

The W08’s mirrors appear to feature multiple lenses, indicating cameras which serve different functions. Tyre temperature monitoring would be an obvious purpose of one of these.

Although the front wing is wider than the one its replaces the two are clearly similar in concept. This would be an obvious area for development in testing and the first race of the year.

Three-quarter view

Mercedes W07, 2016
Mercedes W08, 2017

View more pictures of the Mercedes W08

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    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    28 comments on “Compare the new 2017 Mercedes with last year’s model”

    1. Awesome, except for that silly coat hanger in front of the rear wing, looks more unsightly than even then thumb noses

      1. This certainly is a pro-choice car.


        1. You hate your caps lock by the looks of it.

          1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
            25th February 2017, 20:16

            Hates it, or would that be loves it?

    2. So glad they haven’t gone with the shark fin, I think they look terrible. I thought we had seen the last of them :-(

      1. Didn’t they have a shark fin version already ready to test on the same day the car was released??

        1. Yeah they are gonna evaluate one in Barcelona testing.

      2. They’re pretty beneficial with the current regulations though. This explains it well:

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          25th February 2017, 23:04

          @hugh11 According to the article: “You cannot have a horizontal vane\wing ahead of the main rear wing to clean up the airflow.”
          How does Ferrari manage with the wing on the fin?

          1. @mbr-9 There’s a gap in the regulated spaces, about 50mm. These diagrams someone made kinda show it

            1. Michael Brown (@)
              26th February 2017, 23:58

              @hugh11 Thank you, that helps me understand a lot better.

    3. Gets better and better each time I see it. This car is absolutely magnificent!

    4. One thing I’m curious about after looking at the other cars is that everyone else seems to have gone to significantly bigger air intakes while Merc have decreased theirs. I’m sure that it will help with the aero but hope it doesn’t lead to cooling issues.

      1. The Sauber car was similar in that respect, it had a smaller air intake on the bargeboards compared to last year’s car as well.

      2. The manufacturers work closely with their aero and packaging departments to optimise their cooling and aero specifically for their power units. So they can have lower air intakes and reduce drag but not overheat the engine.

    5. I’ll rather a nicely shaped shark fin than silly coat hanger that just looks lost back there.

    6. Eh, I think I prefer the look of the old car actually. It looks better resolved, more delicate. It could just be the angle of that front-on picture but the nose is especially ugly. I’m growing less pleased at the length of the new cars too, it’s like they grabbed the tip of the nose and the rear wing and pulled.

      1. @george surely you agree that they look faster and more aggressive in that 3/4 view tho right?

        1. @3dom
          That’s what I was thinking of when I said it looks like they’ve been stretched out. It’s more of a comment on this particular car than the new regs in general, it’s the only one I’ve gotten that impression from. It could actually be that the missing shark fin makes the gap between the airbox and rear wing look bigger, the rear end looks very flattened.

    7. FlyingLobster27
      25th February 2017, 14:12

      Looks like the W08 is going to harvest its electric power from overhead cable.

      1. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
        25th February 2017, 16:28

        COTD lol

    8. They’ve got what looks like a hand rail between the front wheel bracing arms and the barge boards.

    9. petebaldwin (@)
      25th February 2017, 20:55

      You certainly don’t want to touch the side of that car with your tyres – look at the bit of floor by the S in Petronas.

      1. Haha right, it’s already looking like a season where the front wings will get massacred!

        1. Wider cars, wider tyres and wider front wings battling for the first turn…what could go wrong?

          Can’t wait to hear the commentators when a thousand pieces of uber-pricey carbon fibre is strewn across the track and some of the field feature newly-renovated single element wings and yet, Crofty says: “hasn’t affected the pace…”

    Comments are closed.