Five days before the start of the pre-season testing in Barcelona, Mercedes released the first studio photos of their new 2019 F1 car which also completed its first laps Silverstone – let’s have a look what brings their new championship contender – the F1 W10.
Team principal Toto Wolff says the new rules are a big challenge for his team that wants to stay at the top of Formula 1 and the sixth consecutive year.
“The 2019 season will be a new challenge for all of us,” said team principal Toto Wolff.
“The regulations have changed quite substantially. We have to start from scratch, we need to prove ourselves again, against our own expectations and against our competitors.
“We start the season with zero points, so we’re taking nothing for granted and there’s absolutely no feeling of entitlement to be at the front.
Technical Director James Allison confirmed that Mercedes maintained the same wheelbase as the predecessor (3725 mm) and decided to continue to develop a proven concept.
“The development of our concept has gone a step further, each section is further developed and we have made some changes that would be impossible to implement within last year’s limitations.”
Nose and front wing
Mercedes front wing is 200 mm wider and 20 mm higher, as per new 2019 F1 regulations, and has a curved leading edge of the mainplane (marked turquoise) that rises towards endplates while the second and third element have a gentle curve at the edge of the central neutral section and bend down afterwards.
This year, the teams can only use two vertical fences under the front wing (yellow) that are, in Mercedes’ case, angled towards the inner part of the front wheels, and the only cascade that is allowed is a thermal camera holder (marked turquoise).
The shape of the nose is very similar to last year, but it is little bit narrower and pointier and doesn’t have a typical central extension as most other teams, while the cap (pink) under the nose that drives the air beneath the car towards the other aerodynamic elements in the area is still there.
The front wing endplates (marked with blue) are angled slightly inwards, as opposed to all the other 2019 F1 cars presented so far with endplates angled slightly outwards. In accordance with the endplates are the aforementioned vertical fences (yellow) beneath the front wing which also direct the airflow to the inner side of the front wheels.
Front suspension and area behind the front wheels
The front suspension is a pushrod (yellow) concept with double wishbone (turquoise and blue) configurations, and Mercedes, unlike Toro Rosso, has decided to retain the concept they introduced last year and keep a vertical extension (pink) for the upper wishbone.
In this way, the pickup point for the upper wishbone is much higher than is possible without extension, allowing a more horizontal position of the upper wishbones and releasing more airflow in this sensitive area.
The lower wishbone (blue) is very high mounted and the front and rear wishbone arms are packed in a single aerodynamic cover in the area near the wheels.
The front brake duct (orange) are the most developed so far this year, although the freedom in this area is limited in 2019 because no more aerodynamic devioces are allowed around the ducts.
The Mercedes front brake ducts are horizontally divided into two parts, the lower part being vertically divided, and in the outer part there are five more thin vertical fins.
In the picture bellow, the area behind the front wheels and the bargeboards in the area must be lower in 2019 and the leading edge of the first bargeboard (turquoise) is connected to the chassis and is labeled ‘F1W10’. There are also other vanes (blue) that are tied to the same structure and at its base there are numerous vortex generators (pink) that are key for energising the flow towards the floor.
Behind the bargeboards there is a pair of vertical sidepod vanes (orange) that will also be shown in the following photographs.
Mercedes is the first this year’s car that does not follow the Ferrari and Red Bull routes with exceptionally high sidepod openings between two horizontal safety structures as they remained faithful to the more common concept that they have further developed and improved for 2019.
Looking at the front, the sidepod intake (marked turquoise) is deeper than last year, but also narrower in its upper part and the entire sidepod shoulder is smaller than 2018. This is evident from the space between the sidepod shoulder and the vertical vane (pink). Also, there is another element (blue) underneath the intakes that sticks out of the chassis and potentially hides another safety structure.
The edge of the sidepods has a vertical aerodynamic element (pink) connected to the chassis with two slightly curved horizontal joints (the upper part is the safety structure), which are profiled to guide the air around the sidepods and above the diffuser.
The mentioned structure is also connected to smaller two vertical vanes (orange) which shapes the turbulent airflow from the front wheels.
The rear mirrors have two mounts (yellow) to maximize the capability to guide and shape the airflow around the cockpit, a trend that has been followed by more and more teams in recent years.
Halo protection this year is silver with the Mercedes logo in the middle while the lower edge is still black.
Mercedes’s engine cover is not so flat in its upper part as in Haas, but it’s pretty narrow at the back. The airbox above the driver’s head is even taller and wider than last year (turquoise) and in the middle there are two vertical vanes which split the airbox into three parts.
Below the rear wing there is a 750 mm wide T-wing (pink) and in the picture bellow there is a rear suspension whose upper wishbone (red) has an elevated pick-up point on the wheel to allow more air to pass over the diffuser.
Rear suspension and rear end
Mercedes continues to use the pull rod configuration of rear suspension on the F1 W10 with modified geometry to make the car less aggressive with rear tyres, which in recent years have been their weak spot.
The raised and curved upper wishbone increases the quality and quantity of the airflow in this sensitive area above the diffuser, and the rear brake ducts no longer have the numerous winglets we have seen in the past years.
The rear wing this year is 100 mm wider and Mercedes uses Ferrari style double rear wing pylons which are attached to the upper side of the rear wing mainplane.
Double rear wing pylons are lighter than single one and provide the option of placing a small monkey seat between which can help generate some downforce with the help of exhaust beneath it. But twin pylons cause a little more disturbances on the rear wing due to the two mounting positions.
Mercedes 2019 rear wing has a slotted lower part of the leading edge of the endplate, as well as its rear part where we can see two vertical extensions (red), which Mercedes tested in second part of the 2018 F1 season with W09.
The floor ahead of the rear wheels is one of the most developed we have seen so far on 2019 F1 cars and Mercedes placed a big slit in front of the rear tyre and added eight angled slots in front of it (green).
Also, there are three shorter longitudinal vertical slits (purple) that have a similar function of mixing air below and above the floor to create vortices that will help isolate the airflow underneath the car from turbulence, especially from the rotating rear wheels, which reduce diffuser efficiency while in front of the inner part of the rear wheels there is a small horizontal fence that guides the air to the inside of the rear wheels.