Mercedes’ ‘trick’ with the front wing got the green light

Mercedes presented its new car for 2024, and one detail that was not seen in the official renderings published by the team caught the eye during their first outing on the track as part of the film day – the front wing.

Mercedes’ W15 had several interesting details, with the new front wing attracting particular attention. It is the uppermost part of the front wing (highlighted in the picture below), which consists of 2 segments (red and blue arrow), both of which must pass the FIA’s legality test.
The Mercedes engineers used a clever ‘trick’ to ‘trim’ the front keel, in order to allow the air flow to flow unhindered to the lower part of the car (acceleration of the air flow), and it seems that with this solution they also tried to reproduce the Y250 vortex (which was one of the main features of the previous generation of cars and their front wings). This, however, became very difficult with the new regulations, which aimed to ‘clean up’ the cars and disable the use of certain aerodynamic elements, in order to enable better racing and easier tracking of the cars (the previous generation of cars lost over 50% of their aerodynamic performance when would be within 1.5 to 2 seconds behind the second car).

The German team’s engineers had an interesting interpretation of the rules, but then it remained to be seen whether the FIA ​​would allow this design and whether other teams would object. On the side, notice the thin ribbon material that connects to the nose, and it exists purely for legality reasons, as the rules only allow “4 closed sections per wing span” to persist.

Mercedes has changed the appearance and layout of the main nose rail, which is now shorter than its predecessor. In cooperation with the front wing, this changes the trajectory of the air flow, which with the ‘interesting’ trick used by Mercedes could bring certain benefits.

However, as the Italian writes, the front wing that the German team prepared for the upcoming season has been given the green light. But he will still be under the watchful eye of other teams as a ‘flex’ wing and whether any of them will object.