Mercedes F1 car borrows "a few tricks" from rocket technology

Formula 1 chief technical officer Pat Symonds says that a "few little tricks" in cooling have allowed Mercedes to pursue its dramatic new aerodynamic package with its W13.

Mercedes F1 car borrows "a few tricks" from rocket technology

Symonds explained that technology derived from the aerospace industry has helped Mercedes to package an ultra-efficient cooling system that has enabled it to create the narrow sidepod arrangement unveiled on the first day of the Bahrain test.

The main architect of the 2022 regulations, Symonds admitted that he hadn't anticipated such a dramatic interpretation of the rules.

"This is a very novel approach," he said in an interview with F1 TV's Ted Kravitz.

"I like to see novel interpretations. I have to say it's not one that I'd expected to see. And I'm still really impressed at how they're getting the air through to cool the car, but they obviously are.

"I think it will have got their rivals sort of going back to the rulebook with their red pencil, and seeing just what they've done."

PLUS: What we learned on day one of the second 2022 F1 test

Symonds admitted that when his team of engineers wrote the rules and created a full-size model of the 2022 car, they anticipated a requirement for larger radiator inlets.

"I guess it was just a little bit more radical than we thought," he said.

"As we developed the aerodynamics of this set of regulations, obviously, we looked at lots of things, not just downforce producing, but we had to look at brake cooling, had to look at tyre heating. And particularly, we had to look at engine cooling.

"And we were using a bigger inlet than that [on the W13] to get the cooling. I think on the Mercedes, they have a few little tricks in there that help them in this respect.

George Russell, Mercedes W13

George Russell, Mercedes W13

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

"For example the intercooler, is a very, very neat device. It's a water/air intercooler, which of course Mercedes have had for a little while, but I think this is a little bit different.

"And that's why they can really shrink wrap this car a little bit more than most of the others can."

Expanding on what Mercedes had done, he added: "The intercooler that I was talking about comes from Reaction Engines in Oxfordshire, the people who are doing this sort of air-breathing rocket motor, and the sort of spin-off from that has been this really extremely efficient heat exchanger technology.

"I think that's part of the reason why they've been able to produce the car the way they have."

Read Also:

Symonds stressed that all teams have honed their packaging to make sidepods as small as possible.

"One of the trends we're seeing, and it's not particular to these new regulations, but we're seeing that it's very, very difficult to start to package everything into the sidepods," he said.

"People think what's in the sidepods, surely it's only the radiators, the heat exchangers?

"But of course, there's a lot more, there's a lot of electronics in there. I think some people are moving that electronics into that keel area."

Mercedes W13 side detail

Mercedes W13 side detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The sidepods and cooling concept aside, Symonds suggested that nothing else on the W13 had caught his eye.

"I think the rest of it looks, dare I say, reasonably conventional - if there's such a thing as conventional," he said.

"The front wing treatment, very much what we expected to see.

"Rear wing yes, a little bit of change in camber in that again, which a lot of people have adopted for this very, very clear sort of path to the lower rear wing, the sort of beam wing at the back, which a lot of people are trying to do now."

shares
comments

Related video

Ferrari introduces floor tweaks for Bahrain F1 test
Previous article

Ferrari introduces floor tweaks for Bahrain F1 test

Next article

2022 Bahrain F1 test: Ocon tops second morning by 0.1s over Leclerc

2022 Bahrain F1 test: Ocon tops second morning by 0.1s over Leclerc
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Plus

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week and, although it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023
Why the new Williams boss shouldn’t avoid ‘Mercedes B-team’ comparisons Plus

Why the new Williams boss shouldn’t avoid ‘Mercedes B-team’ comparisons

OPINION: Williams has moved to replace the departed Jost Capito by appointing former Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles as its new team principal. But while he has sought to play down the idea of moulding his new squad into a vision of his old one, some overlap is only to be expected and perhaps shouldn't be shied away from

Formula 1
Jan 17, 2023