Mercedes reveal no sidepod design


Mercedes use their new W-13 car in a ‘no sidepod’ design in the Bahrain pre-season test

A newly modified Mercedes W-13 was on display on the first day of the Bahrain test. The car had minimalist side pods, so tiny that they are barely visible to the human eye. Sidepods are used in F1 to guide air inside cars to provide cooling for the engine but Mercedes’ bold decision to go with minimal sidepods is possibly to maximise the effect while it will also help aerodynamics.

British F1 reporter Ted Kravitz explained the use of sidepods in an F1 car. “It’s used to accelerate the air as much as you can around the area on top of the diffuser, in order to make the ground effect absolutely as powerful as possible to push the car to the ground.”

Mercedes’ W-13 car has already been checked and given a green signal by the FIA and there has been no objections from any team so far. However, there’s a feeling in the F1 community that some teams may come up and protest.

F1’s managing director of motorsports, Ross Brawn believes the car is legal. “I think there’s no doubt that the Mercedes concept we didn’t anticipate. It’s a very extreme interpretation of the regulation. The regulators of the sport know what’s going on – I think they are okay with so far but a team may come in and raise an objection that the FIA hadn’t considered and then you may have a problem”, said Brawn.

What else is new in the Mercedes W-13?

The W-13 is Mercedes’ first car under the new 2022 technical regulations. It will make its debut appearance in the 2022 Formula One World Championship. It is designed and constructed by the Mercedes-Petronas team itself. The Constructors’ have made various modifications from the previous W-12 model.

The Mercedes car for the 2022 season
BARCELONA, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 25: George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W13 during Day Three of F1 Testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on February 25, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

Mercedes have kept the front part of the car similar to the likes of Ferrari and AplhaTauri. The nose of the car is attached to the main plane of the front wing. The W-13’s nose has a hole at the tip to facilitate driver cooling and pass air to keep the airflow clean. The front wing is relatively more mid-loaded than the previous version. Mercedes has opted for the push-rod option in the front and continued to use pull-rod suspension at the rear. Overall, the W-13 is heavier than the latest version as is all the other cars of the 2022 F1 season.

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will be driving the Mercedes W-13 in the 2022 Formula One World Championship.

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