First images of new Mercedes aerodynamics appear at French Grand Prix

2022 French Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

The first evidence of Mercedes’ latest aerodynamic upgrade has appeared at the French Grand Prix. The team has brought a reshaped nose for its W13 this weekend.

The reigning constructors’ champions have made a “mammoth effort” to turn around their poor start to the season, according to team principal Toto Wolff. They are yet to win a race this year, but have taken podium finishes in the last four consecutive races after making a series of improvements to their car.

A major aerodynamic upgrade at the Spanish Grand Prix helped the team address the porpoising it suffered in the opening races. Further refinements followed over the subsequent rounds where Mercedes focused on harnessing more downforce from its W13 to close the gap to the pace-setting Red Bulls and Ferraris.

It brought another extensive package of changes to the British Grand Prix at the beginning of the month. There Lewis Hamilton ran competitively in the closing stages. The team’s performance in Austria was compromised by crashes in qualifying for both drivers.

“Our understanding of the W13 is growing with every lap and it’s encouraging to see that reflected in our development and results,” said Wolff.

The rest of the team’s newest changes will appear later in the weekend. They will be evaluated in first practice tomorrow by George Russell and Nyck de Vries – the latter driving Hamilton’s car for the first session this weekend.

“While we were quicker in Austria, we still weren’t quick enough to challenge at the front,” Wolff added. “We need to keep chasing those final few tenths and bringing new developments to the cars, including this weekend in France.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Mercedes’ new and old noses

Mercedes nose at French Grand Prix

Mercedes nose and pride logo, Baku City Circuit, 2022
Mercedes nose at Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Don't miss anything new from RaceFans

Follow RaceFans on social media:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2022 French Grand Prix

    Browse all 2022 French Grand Prix articles

    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...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    24 comments on “First images of new Mercedes aerodynamics appear at French Grand Prix”

    1. I can’t understand anything between those 2 images

      1. @ivan-vinitskyy it looks like the front element is lower down compared to the second element. The nose tip has been revised as a result with a different shape inlet.

        1. The biggest difference besides the larger nostrils seems to be the angle of the picture ;)

      2. Pete Cresswell
        21st July 2022, 13:31

        The nose appears lower, and they’ve added another element, all of which are less aggressive.
        Hope that helps

        1. Both wings have 4 elements. It’s just the angle the pictures are taken from that makes the old one look like 3 with different gaps.

      3. The most obvious different is the section containing the inlet was in a separate panel screwed in place (you can see the screw heads), but the new one looks integral to the nose itself.

    2. Funny, the new inlet looks like a BMW (kidney) grill.

      1. Haha, yes! Look out for a round inlet with three-pointed start at the Hungaroring, if not before.

        1. Star. Stupid phone.

      2. It’s not big or garish enough :) ! (Funny observation btw gave me a chuckle).

    3. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      21st July 2022, 13:21

      The gap at the root of the front two elements of wing also appear slightly further apart.

    4. Aerodynamics is so incredibly complicated at this level of development that even minuscule changes make a big difference, as the Redbull/Ferrari Flexi-floor has shown.

      1. I don’t know if we can necessarily say “big difference” when we haven’t yet seen Red Bull/ Ferrari post-technical directive performance.

        1. @vvatermelone I agree this may amount to nothing or even slightly hinder them or trigger a breakthrough in design, and that’s my point. The complexity is such that these changes are often trial and error rather than certainties.

      2. @johnrkh – the Redbull/Ferrari Flexi-floor If i see it right Red Bull Floor doesn’t flex otherwise they would lose performance as you need a constant distance for the groundeffect but Mercedes floor does flex a lot.
        It’s the small vortex generators which makes the big difference.

        1. @macleod This is a quote from inews UK. There are also articles in MotorSport and RN 365 about this.

          The wooden plank is permitted to flex up to two millimetres while the car is being driven, and motorsport governing body the FIA monitors this on three different points along the plank. There are suspicions, though, that some teams have floors which are capable of flexing up to six millimetres, and they are allowing this to happen in order to improve the performance of their cars.

          That extra flexing is alleged to take place on points of the plank which are not monitored by the FIA, and could help to explain why some teams suffer from porpoising much less than others. While these teams may not technically be in breach of the rules from a legal standpoint, they would certainly be going against the spirit and intention of the regulations.

    5. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      21st July 2022, 13:45

      Watching onboard video of the Ferrari and Merc the front wing elements flex down quite markedly at the outter half. I don’t know what benefit it brings but considering the flexing of rear wings was reduced by regulation why the same hasn’t been done for the front?

      1. Lower drag, most likely.

    6. The cost cap really is hitting Mercedes– that nose looks like they reused the wing elements from a previous nose.

      1. I wonder if they are spending over the limit. It looks weird seeing them bring many updates in a cost cap season.

        1. I think a lot of updates were already made in the year they delayed the 2022 cars so before the costcap.
          That is what i understood when ask one of the developers with Red Bull. You get only in the problems when you concept didn’t work.

    7. Okay. I need some help here. Are they spending over the cost cap? Because I do not understand how they can bring such updates to the car. A new nose is definitely costful in terms of money.

    8. Is this upgrade happening in light of the fia’s modifying of the rules due to porpoising/bouncing? this is being manipulated maan.

    9. An entire article for nostrils… Really?

    Comments are closed.