Upgrade war between Ferrari and Mercedes

Semi-new car for Vettel
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D he spies lurked during the technical inspection. Mercedes put its remodeled AMG W06 on the FIA ​​scales on Thursday evening. Ferrari took its time until Friday morning. The lapwings saw two very different cars. No spectacular technology coups, but a long list of details.

Mercedes chief designer Aldo Costa said of auto motor und sport : 'We changed the car in 30 to 35 details.' Ferrari racing director Maurizio Arrivabene even spoke of a semi-new car for Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen. Vettel officially mentioned new developments on the front wing and underbody. In reality there are many more.

Ferrari side pods with dent

In addition to the components mentioned by Vettel, we discovered a dent at the beginning of the side pods. The panel has just shrunk. This means that the bow wings at the beginning of the side pods are further away from the cladding. A trend that catches on. The front part of the side panels on the redesigned Red Bull RB11 also has an indentation.

The bow wing on the Ferrari SF15-T is also new. It now consists of two parts instead of one. The baffles in front of the cooling inlets have a new shape and have two vertical slots. Prototype Red Bull. There are changes to the underbody around the rear wheels that you have to look for with a magnifying glass. A modified vertical bar in front of the cutout for the rear wheels, two additional horizontal slots on the outer edge of the floor. Plus a new diffuser and a modified rear wing end plate.

New air duct on the Mercedes

Mercedes keeps up with another front wing development on the other hand. There are now two vertical air deflectors in front of the side baffles. The brake ventilation has been revised as well as the front runners of the underbody. The most spectacular innovation is a small air duct in the rear area of ​​the side pods.

It is reminiscent of the old Red Bull bottle neck concept, which set up an additional duct inside the car to place the exhaust at the end of the side panels . The reason for the changed air routing could be an even closer fitting rear fairing. As Costa told us, the transition from the side pods to the underbody has also been redesigned.

The Mercedes engineers are expecting two to two from the new Aero packagethree tenths. At Ferrari one speaks internally of four tenths of a second. That would also be necessary in order to shorten the gap. But the simulation data cannot always be transferred 1: 1 to the race track immediately. 'With our major upgrade in the winter tests, nothing came up at first. It took us to understand the changes,' says a Mercedes engineer.


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