With a major update package for the British Grand Prix, Mercedes hopes to be able to close the gap at the top of Formula 1.
Mercedes has announced the extent of updates to the British Grand Prix, which the team hopes to bring in line with Red Bull and Ferrari. In addition to the new parts, the track characteristics at Silverstone should also accommodate the W13.
Changes include a revised front suspension, revised sidepod air deflectors, a new underbody and a new rear wing. On the front suspension, Mercedes has enlarged the bumper components where they meet the chassis.
The team explains that the reason for this change is to direct the flow down the chassis side to create a vortex that improves the flow below the underbody.
Mercedes has also repositioned the guide vanes on the chassis side in front of the sidepod to improve the flow quality in the radiator duct and increase cooling capacity. In addition, the slot at the edge of the underbody has been enlarged towards the front and the curvature of the front position has been increased. Both aim to shift the load on the underbody to the front.
Another change to improve the underbody’s flow quality is a revised “bib wing”. At the rear of the car, the W13 also features a reprofiled rear wing tip to reduce camber. This is specially tuned for the Silverstone circuit, which is designed to reduce drag without losing too much downforce.
Russell hints: Silverstone could be the best weekend so far
Ahead of the weekend, George Russell said he hoped the changes would be enough to bring Mercedes on par with Red Bull and Ferrari. Having struggled on bumpy tracks lately for the team, the slippery track at Silverstone should suit the W13’s characteristics better.
So far, Mercedes has had the best performance when you can drive the car very close to the ground. “I think Silverstone’s high-speed nature and smoother surface will definitely suit us more than it has at the past three events,” said Russell.
“But there are still no guarantees because so far we’ve had a different problem with the car at every race. But we’re reasonably confident that this will be a more competitive weekend for us, not only because of the upgrades but also because of the nature of the track .”