Mercedes vs. Ferrari in technology comparison

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Mercedes vs. Ferrari in technology comparison
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D he first surprise came on February 1st in Jerez. Mercedes and Ferrari competed with two completely different vehicles. The Mercedes AMG W06 had a short nose, the Ferrari SF15-T a long one. There are also other differences. At 3,441 millimeters, the Mercedes has the second shortest wheelbase in the field. With 3,508 millimeters, Ferrari is in the midfield.

Ferrari relies on Pullrod on the front axle, Mercedes on Pushrod. The cooling inlet on the Mercedes is oval, the one on the Ferrari is triangular. The side pods of the Mercedes are wider at the front than the Ferrari, but start moving in earlier.

The rear of the Silver Arrow is flatter and slimmer. For this, Mercedes has to open the fairing more in hot races. Like Red Bull, Ferrari has a diffuser that is open on the outside. On the Mercedes it is clearly separated at the outer edges by a vertical bar.

Mercedes with B-version in the Barcelona test

A lot has happened in Jerez since February 1st. Both cars changed their faces. However, Mercedes is significantly more than Ferrari. Chief designer Aldo Costa already presented a completely redesigned AMG W06 at the Barcelona tests. In the past, one would have spoken of a B version.

The nose, the front camera mountings, the front brake ventilation, the front suspension, the fins on the cockpit side, the baffles, side boxes and rear fairing, the rear wing suspension and that were new The wing profile and the monkey seat.

The already compact rear end was shrunk again. The rear wing was no longer on two stilts, but on one like the Ferrari. This also changed the monkey seat. The all-round stroke should take almost half a second on paper. But it took a while. At first, the upgrade confused drivers and engineers. It took both of them a while to find the right set-up.

And Ferrari? The team around technical director James Allison has so far developed more in the narrow-gauge format. During the test drives, only a new front wing was screwed onto the car. For this purpose, the attachment of the front TV cameras was designed in accordance with the rules. Even then, Allison said: 'Many modifications are invisible because they take place under the hood.' But also at Mercedes.

Ferrari brings more targeted technology updates

At the Australian GP, ​​Mercedes and Ferrari basically competed with the carsfrom the Barcelona test on. Mercedes had slightly modified the transition from the nose to the chassis and removed the monkey seat. Ferrari presented new rear wing end plates.

In the heat battle of Malaysia it became clear how much the Mercedes is knitted at the limit. Six gills, an airlock in front of the cockpit and two vertical holes at the end of the engine cover were the tribute to the high temperatures. Ferrari kept the three flat gills next to the cockpit as they were already seen in Melbourne. Otherwise everything stayed closed. A new diffuser came for this.

Mercedes ushered in the next round in the development race in Shanghai. With a new, spectacular front wing, a more efficient rear wing without a monkey seat, redesigned wheel carriers in front and modified baffles under the nose. Ferrari countered with a closer fitting engine cover. It now seamlessly encloses the exhaust pipe. There were also vertical baffles at the end of the side pods like on the Mercedes.

Incidentally, the engine is still at a standstill. Neither Ferrari nor Mercedes have used a development token until now. All modifications to the drive units came under the seal of 'reliability'. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff praised Ferrari in Bahrain: 'Your pace of development is really impressive. You have taken better steps than us.'

In fact, however, Ferrari made fewer changes to his car than Mercedes, according to Wolff have already dismantled some of the new developments. The new quality at Ferrari is that the engineers no longer shoot the target with the shotgun as they used to, but develop their car in small steps. The progress is that the engineers now understand their car better. And that you can rely on your wind tunnel data again.

In our gallery we show you the individual updates from Mercedes and Ferrari from the start of the season.

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