During the pre-season testing, Mercedes tested two versions of the front wing on their 2018 F1 car W09, which were mostly different in the design of the endplates, and also the cape alongside the nose that this year is used by Williams on their FW41.
The world champions have started with last year’s front wing endplate design, which is triple opened to the outside to help direct the airflow to the outside of the front wheels while the new design is somewhat simpler.
The leading edge of the endplate, where is the small horizontal fin (blue), is bent slightly upwards and is carved in its lower part, similiar to the front wing cascades, and the inner part of the front wing is moved outside to form the second part of the endplate.
At the end of the endplate, closest to the front wheel, Mercedes put ” Gurney tab (pink), the usual addition to the top of the aerodynamic profiles that is more pronounced than on past versions of their front wings.
In addition to the front wing endplates, Mercedes continued to develop its nose cap (yellow) that were introduced in the fifth race last season in Spain, and interestingly, that wasn’t copied by other F1 teams last year.
This year, Williams copied this idea, as well as numerous other aerodynamic solutions, and Mercedes continues to develop the cape that now has a curved leading edge.
Now, at the beginning, they are a small tunnel formed by aa curved edge, which should help to better control the air flow below.
In the lower picture you can see the old configuration of the front wing and lateral nose cape.