The first of the European rounds has seen the teams launch a host of new aerodynamic components as part of the ongoing ‘arms’ race staged against rival teams. While some developments are perhaps logical progressions of an established design concept, other teams have bucked the trend and gone with something more radical.
A case in point is Mercedes GP, who have gone with the extreme solution of abolishing the traditional ‘airbox’ entirely!
The airbox – the air intake vent for normally-aspirated engines – has typically acted as part of the car’s roll-hoop structure since the mid 1980s, located immediately above and behind the driver’s head.
The roll-hoop structure of the revised Mercedes GP W01 is now knife-sharp, and the air intakes have been relocated to two vents straddled aside the engine cover.
The narrowing of the roll-hoop structure should see a reduction in aerodynamic drag, potentially boosting the car’s straight line speed.
The revised W01 is also featuring a longer wheelbase to improve weight distribution, in addition to a host of other aero updates to improve its car’s performance.
Additionally, the car is also expected to house the latest version of the ‘F-duct’ concept that the team tried for the first time at the Chinese Grand Prix.
[Original image via AUTOSPORT]