F1 testing: Mercedes trial new nose with an S-duct at Barcelona
Small wing mounts and teeth added to turning vanes on W07
By William Esler in Barcelona
Last Updated: 05/03/16 10:57am
Mercedes have trialled a new nose feature and S-duct on the final day of the first pre-season test in Barcelona.
The new nose also features incredibly small front-wing mountings, described by Sky Sports F1's Ted Kravitz as "the tiniest front-wing mountings I've ever seen in Formula 1".
The team have added further 'teeth' elements to the turning vanes on the underside of the nose as Mercedes seek further aerodynamic gains.
"The S-duct is not a new concept in Formula 1 - in fact, Mercedes are so late to the party on this one the lights have gone up and everybody has gone home. Red Bull, McLaren, Force India, Toro Rosso... pretty much everyone has had an S-duct in the last few years," said Kravitz.
"What it does is take air flow from the underside of the nose via an S-shaped duct to bring it out on the top of the chassis. In simple terms, it speeds and cleans up airflow and gives more downforce.
"But the elegant part of Mercedes' solution is that they've twinned it with the tiniest front-wing mountings I've ever seen in Formula 1."
But can such a tiny connection stand up to the demands of F1?
Kravitz added: "You might wonder whether the stress-analysis people have got their sums right and whether that tiny mounting can take the 200-or-so kilos of load of downforce that a front wing generates, but amazingly it can. In fact, David Croft and I could stand either side of that nose and it would be able to take our weight!
"What it might be susceptible to, of course, is a knock in the wrong direction. With more sturdily-mounted front wings, you can send your driver into a contact battle with another driver on track and be pretty confident that the car will stand up to a bit of a fight."
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