Mercedes W09 sidepod, Red Bull Ring, 2018

Mercedes reveal significant sidepod and rear wing updates

2018 Austrian Grand Prix

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Mercedes has brought a significant upgrade for its Formula 1 car to this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.

Among the changes to the W09 are revised sidepod aerodynamics, including a novel new integration of the wing mirrors.

While rivals Ferrari has forged its own path by attaching wing mirrors to its Halo, Mercedes has incorporated them more deeply within its sidepod construction. A stalk at the outside edge of the mirrors now attaches them to the top of the sidepod. This has an aerodynamic profile, indicating it is being used to condition the flow of air around the car.

Beneath this the mandatory side impact protection bar now forms part of a separate structure. This has allowed the rest of the sidepod to be reduced in size, making it more aerodynamically efficient. It follows a trend started by Ferrari last year.

At the rear of the W09 the team appears to have taken inspiration from McLaren with a revised rear wing design. This mimics the shape seen on McLaren’s car since the current aerodynamic regulations were introduced at the beginning of last season.

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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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17 comments on “Mercedes reveal significant sidepod and rear wing updates”

  1. I admire Mercedes and their willingness to take whatever steps are needed and to spend whatever they need to spend to put a faster car on the track .
    The unfortunate result ( unfortunate for us fans ) of having a multi-national giant willing to spend a billion dollars a season and let its sponsored F1 team operate in the red is that the races are predictable and thus boring .
    The qualifications are interesting in that we look forward to see exactly how good the particular iteration of the car is but, once Q3 is done there is NOTHING to watch so why bother doing so.
    It may just be me but, I want a race that goes down to the last lap or two ,not one determined by the order the cars exit the 1st turn as todays F1 events are .

    1. @rikdi Bare in mind that Merc and it’s drivers have fans too, who are somewhat, enjoying their winnings. It was the same for Redbull and many others before.

    2. AntonioCorleone
      28th June 2018, 17:11

      There is too much brain in F1 teams to not let that happen. As a matter of fact, these brains of F1 hate unpredictability and millions are spent every year fighting unpredictability. And thats why I like it however boring anyone else might think it is, cause I think that only brainless people and teenie girls have the need to be entertained. I find enough entertainment in the boring races.

    3. @rikdi Ferrari spends just as much money and Red Bull does too (if you leave out the powertrain budget from Mercedes and Ferrari budgets). So you can only complain about them not stepping up enough or their drivers causing too many incidents.

      Last race Vettel claimed Ferrari had the pace to win the race. Yet he crashed and we will never know, but for sure we didn’t have a race. Not really Mercedes’ fault though. It’s Ferrari’s drivers who faltered.

  2. I would not be surprised of those mirrors got banned. As far as I can see they are incorporating aero into the mirror supports. Like ferrari did via wings attached to the halo, but not standard mirror positions. It surely amounts to the same thing.

    1. Yeah that was my first thought, I guess they can argue that the extra mirror mount is for safety reasons, but it looks very very similar to what Ferrari used and was banned.

      1. I believe Ferrari’s were banned because they were mounted to the halo and not because having the additional aero component was inherently illegal.

        1. Yeh, looking at the formal Ferrari pictures it seems they banned the stand-alone aero device that was not contributing towards support in any meaningful way.

          Whereas the Mercs could argue they are legitimate support struts that happen to act as areo…..just….

          1. former* nor formal

      2. Force India mounted thief wing mirrors the exact same way all season

        1. “Thief” – typo or Freudian slip?

      3. There are closer to the Force India ones and those have been around for a long time.

    2. You know Red Bull have been running mirrors with two mounts for several races now that are clearly for aerodynamic benefit.

    3. @mach1

      Ferrari mounted it on a safety device – halo. Additionally, they put a winglet on the halo to improve the aero around that area. Mercedes has still placed theirs on the chassis along with body work which seems to be within the rules. I seriously doubt Mercedes will get in any trouble because of this.

  3. The sidepods are Ferrari-inspired for sure, only that the arrangement is different.

    1. @mg1982

      My first thoughts as well. Looks completely Ferrari inspired with multiple air slots being formed around the cooling intakes and above it. Funny how Mercedes and Ferrari started with very differentiated approaches last year – long wheel base vs short wheel base, traditional side pods vs Ferrari’s config and now they’re moving much closer to each other in terms of design.

  4. The rear wing looks just like the McLaren one.

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