I n this year it was quiet on the technology front at Mercedes for a long time . The engineers preferred to spend time solving the Pirelli tire puzzle. Major aerodynamic updates have therefore been postponed to the second half of the season. It wasn't until the Young Drivers Test in Magny Cours in mid-September that the fans saw a completely transformed Silver Arrow.
As one of the last teams, there was finally a Coanda exhaust, which is supposed to provide more downforce and traction in the rear. A variant of the double DRS system was also presented, in which air is blown onto the underside of the rear wing via a periscope tube. This is supposed to disturb the flow at the tail fin in such a way that downforce and drag are reduced and top speed is increased - of course only on full throttle sections.
Shark fin on behalf of the FIA
On On the last day of the Magny-Cours test, a fin was then mounted on the airbox. It was not an aerodynamic improvement, as team boss Ross Brawn explained. 'The teams have been working with the FIA for a long time to improve the drivers' identification on the track. It seems to be a trend that drivers nowadays constantly change their helmet design. It is no longer so easy to see who is in the car sits. '
The start number and the abbreviation of Michael Schumacher's name were painted on the striking shark fin. They wanted to test how easy it was to see. 'Currently, the requirements for the size of the starting number on the car are still very low. The solution with the Finn in Magny Cours was an experiment. We now have to discuss with the FIA whether there is a better alternative.'
Brawn did not seem to be completely satisfied with the noticeable solution. 'It has to be properly balanced. When you have a feature that is so dominant, viewers are distracted by the logos of our partners and sponsors. Of course that's not so good.'
Coanda exhaust already suitable for racing
Of the other eye-catching technical innovations from Magny Cours, only the exhaust made it onto the racetrack in Singapore. The engineers were satisfied with the first data, even if it took a while. 'The impressions from Magny Cours were very good. However, we did not immediately see a positive effect here on Friday,' explains Brawn. 'But we have some changes overnight on Saturdaycarried out. That looked better then. 'The Mercedes team boss asks for a little patience.' With other teams we have seen that the introduction of a Coanda exhaust takes a few races to start up. '
It is an investment in the future, explained the team boss. A similar exhaust solution will probably also be used on the 2013 Silver Arrow. The engineers and drivers still have to find out how to best use the exhaust and minimize negative side effects. Nico Rosberg is certain: 'There's still a lot of potential in there.'
Triple-DRS still in the test phase
In addition to the exhaust the blown rear wing is also a project that is being developed with a view to 2013. Nothing of this was seen in Singapore. A racing use is not planned for the time being. 'It has to work properly first. We are still in the middle of the development phase, 'explains Ross Brawn.
The team boss promised that the complicated system would be tested again in Suzuka in two weeks. But only on Friday.' We have to Put some work into it. We could maybe use it in training in Japan. At the moment, however, I think it's very unlikely that we will do it in the race. '
In our picture gallery we have again the photos of the various updates from Magny-Cours.