New Mercedes front wing revealed at British GP

Mercedes has brought an update package to Formula 1's British Grand Prix, and the first tweak has emerged with a striking new front wing.

Mercedes W14 front wing detail

The new design still harnesses many of its predecessor's features, such as the semi-detached flap and endplate juncture.

However, there's also a big change to how the wing is loaded across its span and how it interacts with the nose.

The triangular junction of the endplate's leading edge has been retired in favour of a more rounded finish, which has not only resulted in the diveplane being adjusted to suit but also the camber of the endplate itself.

The pod that houses the infra-red tyre sensor has also been repositioned as a consequence of the endplate redesign, and will clearly have been moved to a location that offers the most performance from an aerodynamic point of view.

Mercedes W14 front wing

Mercedes W14 front wing

The mainplane's leading edge is now more contoured in the outer section of the wing (red arrow), presenting the underside of the element to the oncoming flow and enhancing the contours that had already existed thereafter.

It is a design solution that's reminiscent of solutions used by teams in the previous regulation format, but is something they are clearly unable to completely replicate due to the radius rules employed since last season.

Mercedes W14 front wing and nose

Mercedes W14 front wing and nose

The upwardly pinched leading edge of the mainplane in the central section of the element has also been discarded (blue arrow, inset), as a smoother transition is now preferred that dips to the centreline where it meets with the nose tip.

This has also resulted in the other inboard sections of the flaps above being reprofiled, altering their interaction with the nose.

As a consequence of these changes, it would appear that the tip of the nose and the rest of the vanity panel bodywork have been altered too.

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Visually the most apparent change comes in the form of the two upper flaps, with the chord length of the moveable sections both much longer than their predecessors. Care has clearly been taken to provide the necessary curvature across the trailing edge of the upper flap in order it provides the right balance between load and flow distribution.

Also noticeable is the arrival of a more aero-focused slot gap separator bracket in the upper outboard corner (circled and inset, above), while the rest of the brackets still retain the more conventional horseshoe appearance.

Mercedes was the first team to reveal the aero-style brackets, even if they never raced them, while Ferrari has employed them all season on its front wing. Haas has installed its own variant more recently too.

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