Mercedes will test a major upgrade package during Magny-Cours F1 test

Mercedes will test a major upgrade to its car at Magny-Cours this week, AUTOSPORT can reveal, as it bids to end its season on a high

Mercedes will test a major upgrade package during Magny-Cours F1 test

After a recent spell where it has focused on improving its understanding of tyres rather than delivering updates, Mercedes plans to trial an all-new exhaust system as well as revised double-DRS during this week's Young Driver Test.

AUTOSPORT has learned that as well as continuing the evaluation of the Lotus-style double-DRS that it trialled in Belgium, the Mercedes W03 will feature its version of the Coanda-type exhaust that has been put to such good use by McLaren, Ferrari and Sauber this season.

Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn told AUTOSPORT that the outfit had perhaps neglected car development too much recently.

"We weren't understanding the tyres and concluded that the most effective thing we could do, rather than go straight to a Coanda-system, was to understand the tyres, to get them a bit more under control," he said.

"Perhaps we should have done both in parallel but we concentrated on what we thought was the most important thing.

"We're much better at managing the tyres and we've actually had races where we've made our tyres last better than some of our competitors, which was not the case at the beginning of the year.

"We have also done work in the wind tunnel which, with our new 60 per cent model, has helped us understand more about that type of exhaust system. That's what we'll be evaluating this week."

Brawn said that the Coanda exhaust - which makes use of the tendency of fluid jets to be attracted to nearby surfaces to divert exhaust flow down to the floor - would help the W03 in slow speed corners.

"We think that's quite significant in low speed traction," he said. "The effect of the exhaust is more significant at lower speeds than higher speeds, and also brings you the balance perhaps you need for the rear tyre."

Brawn also said that if tests of its new double-DRS are positive then the plan is to race it as soon as possible.

"There is still a long way to go," he said. "There are some races later in the year where that philosophy might be quite useful.

"It's a passive system - and can only work in certain combinations of corners. With the Ascari chicane at Monza, it was a bit quick to be able to use it there.

"It's about how you use it on track and it's not suitable for all tracks. It has to be tuned and the tuning is a challenge."

The new version of double-DRS allows wings to be stalled at a set speed for a straight-line speed boost.

However, teams need to be able to ensure that the speed it works at is greater than the fastest bend on the track - so downforce is not lost when it is needed most for cornering.

Mercedes test driver Sam Bird is scheduled to drive for the first two days of this week's Magny-Cours test, and could stay for a third day if the programme is not completed.

If the work is ticked off, however, then it is understood that Brendon Hartley could be brought in for a run on Thursday.

shares
comments
Felipe Massa reckons latest results have boosted his chances of staying at Ferrari

Previous article

Felipe Massa reckons latest results have boosted his chances of staying at Ferrari

Next article

Force India confirms Jules Bianchi, Luiz Razia and Rodolfo Gonzalez for Magny-Cours young driver test

Force India confirms Jules Bianchi, Luiz Razia and Rodolfo Gonzalez for Magny-Cours young driver test
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Mercedes
Author Mark Hughes
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb Plus

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen’s emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber team-mate’s own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here’s how Nick Heidfeld’s career was chilled by the Iceman

Formula 1
Apr 1, 2021