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Mercedes' W15 Unveils Radical Front Wing at Silverstone

Mercedes’ W15 Unveils Radical Front Wing at Silverstone

15/02/2024

As the Mercedes W15 rolled out onto Silverstone’s pit lane, it unveiled a radical front wing innovation, marking a first in Formula 1 engineering.

Mercedes F1 unveiled its W15 on Wednesday, making its debut at Silverstone. This marks a significant and visible shift from the “failed” concept of 2022 and 2023, and is also “completely different under the skin,” according to team principal Toto Wolff.

Part of this change is attributed to the adoption of a Red Bull-style rear suspension, but the real innovation on the 2024 Mercedes was not revealed in the studio images of the new Mercedes.

It was only when the car emerged onto the Silverstone pit lane that the true front wing was visible.

The upper flap is no longer attached to the inside of the nose. This creates a gap between the outer part of the element and the chassis, allowing air to flow through unimpeded. This solution, in this form, has never been seen on any other car.

Mercedes Exploits Loophole with Y250 Vortex

Indeed, the creation of a “Y250 vortex” (its technical name) with the front wings in this manner was banned with the introduction of the all-new aerodynamic rules of 2022.

Mercedes has discovered a loophole allowing the upper flap of the front wing to be technically connected to the nose, as required, but with a single, thin carbon thread.

At Red Bull, Dr. Helmut Marko admits that it’s possible one of Red Bull’s closest rivals could beat his team with such tricks.

“What we can say now is that our new car, which you will see this Thursday, is an evolution of last year’s and we had the best package.”

“If we address the few weaknesses, there should not be much wrong with it. But who knows, maybe a competitor has found a special trick during development.”

“We have already seen Mercedes’ wing, everyone has seen it, and everyone will study it closely because it’s a very important area of an F1 car. But that’s a visible trick; there might be others. They have started from zero or almost, with all the good ideas seen over the last two years.”

Mercedes’ W15 Unveils Radical Front Wing at Silverstone. Mercedes’ W15 Unveils Radical Front Wing at Silverstone

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