Mercedes front wing, Bahrain International Circuit, 2024 pre-season test

Wolff fully confident Mercedes’ aggressive front wing design is legal

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In the round-up: Toto Wolff has no concerns about the legality of Mercedes’ front wing

In brief

Wolff not concerned by wing legality

After eyebrows were raised by the front wing design of Mercedes’s new W15, team principal Toto Wolff says he has no concerns about its legality.

“I think what’s been put on the car is always following an exchange with the FIA all through the process,” Wolff said.

“It’s no such thing that you have a clever idea and then you bolt it on a test and you think that could or couldn’t be challenged. So that is a long process of dialogue that happens over the winter. So I feel we are in an okay place.

Verstappen eager to help support sim racers

Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen – who regularly competes in iRacing with his Team Redline team mates – says he wants to help provide more opportunities for talented simracers to try and get ingot professional motorsport.

“I do believe that there are possibilities for sim drivers to move into real racing,” he said. “That’s also something that I’m working on myself, to make that a possibility for them.

“I do think it will create possibilities to get into real racing. I don’t say maybe all the way to F1 right now, but there’s more than only F1, you know.”

Andretti unveil 2024 liveries

The Andretti team have revealed their liveries for their three IndyCar cars for 2024.

Colton Herta, Kyle Kirkwood and Marcus Ericsson will race for the team in near-identical but differently coloured designs. Herta will race in yellow and black, Kirkwood in pink and black, while Ericsson has a blue and teal scheme for his first season with the team.

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Comment of the day

With Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc keen to stress he doesn’t expect the team will win “a lot” in 2024, RH isn’t either…

What is ‘a lot’? Ferrari, since 2014, recorded at most six wins across an entire season even while having cars that looked more competitive than the current one. Add to that poor race operations and other aspects needed to win a race, as long as Red Bull is close to them they aren’t winning much. I would be surprised if they both had similarly paced cars if Ferrari managed to win more than five races. Even worse for them might be that Mercedes is ahead according to James Allison on race trim.

Yeah, I’m not expecting anything from them. If they manage to win many races it’ll be nothing short of remarkable.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Ivz, Jake and Mike Roach!

On this day in motorsport

  • Born today in 1946: Jean Todt, who presided over Ferrari’s dominant years with Michael Schumacher, then became president of the FIA

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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9 comments on “Wolff fully confident Mercedes’ aggressive front wing design is legal”

  1. Things like (fia backed) were good initiatives but it seems it doed a silent death. After the initial press releases it hmcarried no commercial or pr revenue for FIA and then it’s just not interesting anymore for them

  2. Showed that Haas tweet to my girlfriend and yep, we both are in agreement at what a fine man Ayao Komatsu is/has become.

    Seeing a race driver matures in real-time is one thing, but it’s also nice seeing an engineer rose through the ranks to lead a team of his own. I still see him as Grosjean’s race engineer at Renault, and he looks almost unrecognizable in that video.

    Hopefully, this new gig of his works out

  3. ABout the Mercedes wing. It will take the other team no time at all to implement the same front wing features and then it will be no advantage at all.

    1. Not really– They’ll have to change the flow of the front half of the car to take advantage of it. Any team that just bolts that wing on their car will have totally different airflow around the front suspension, the intakes, the sidepods– it’s a very different way of shaping the flow of air from the front wing into the sidepods and under the floor, and you can’t just change that one section and expect to not totally disrupt the aero for the rest of the car.

      Having said that, if Mercedes wins any of the first five races, you’re going to hear the other teams scream that the wing is unfair, a violation of the spirit of the rules, and more importantly, unsafe– because supposedly, in-season rules changes can only be made arbitrarily under safety grounds.

      1. @grat Well said to that RBR/Max fan Sir.
        Red Bull will be the first to complain about it.

    2. It may not even be the best solution. Mercedes have had 2 years of “bad design choices”. This could be another. The lap times from testing didnt show any crazy performance.

      1. Most of those bad choices were based on the suspension. Some of those choices required redesigning the gearbox and the chassis, two very expensive parts of the car to redesign. Mercedes would have been far better off doing some major redesign work on the W14, allowing them to spend more money on making the W15 faster.

        Instead, they waited until this year to make the W15 more stable, and now they have to scrounge for resources to make it faster.

        What the cost cap has really done is forced all the teams to compromise on their design choices at every stage, and makes it damned difficult for anyone who’s behind to catch up– so really, if your team name isn’t Red Bull, the cost cap isn’t helping you.

        I know spending half a billion a year wasn’t really sustainable, but I think the cost cap overcorrected– and might have ignored that global inflation spike.

  4. Knowing next to nothing about aerodynamics, I think the point of that wing shape is to direct more air underneath the car, especially when going around corners or when there’s a cross wind. As I consider the new Red Bull shape, which the media say is Adrian Newey’s interpretation of the Mercedes shape from a while back, then I’m expecting to see Adrian’s interpretation of this front wing later this year.

  5. I don’t think it was ever a question of legality for Mercedes here. Of course they found a clever trick and are likely working on reproducing a powerful vortex that’ll give more downforce. It’s more what effect it’ll have on these cars with respect to following. The whole reason F1 moved to ground effect aero and simplified front wings, bargeboards and over the floor tricks is to reduce outwash which makes the car behind lose downforce. I think these regulations have been quite successful at achieving these goals so far. At least except for a few races in 2023.

    I hope Merc get to enjoy their innovation however and that racing doesn’t get affected by this.

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