For the second race of the season in Bahrain, Mercedes introduced a new version of rear wing endplates which now have three vertical slots on each side.
The intensive technological development of Formula 1 cars never stops, especially with big teams such as Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bulls who have the most people and the most money and are constantly making bigger or smaller improvements to their cars.
In addition to the usual cooling adaptations for very hot conditions in Bahrain, which meant that the teams had to open up their engine covers, in the second race we saw a number of new parts ready for comparative tests at the first free practice sessions.
Mercedes has brought a new configuration of the rear wing endplates that now have three vertical extensions out of the upper, wider rear wing portion (turquoise) as Mercedes has dropped one of the three curved strakes (orange) that help push the air aggressively upwards, in the direction of the airflow leaving the rear wing.
The vertical slots and extensions began with McLaren in 2017 while last year the trend was followed by several teams and became regular solution this year.
They help extend the effective width of the rear wing and increase airflow expansion in this area to increase downforce, but sometimes it doesn’t work as expected as best shown by Ferrari who tested such slots in 2018 Singapore GP and eventually returned to old parts which helped them won the US GP in Austin.