Mercedes may exploit new design approach for 2018 car


With the design of its 2018 contender well underway, reports have emerged that Mercedes may have embarked on a completely different concept for next season.

The German outfit is on the verge of clinching its fourth consecutive Constructors' title, but it hasn't always been clear sailing for the Silver Arrows this year, with Ferrari giving the team a good run for its money, at least up until the Asian leg of the season.

While Mercedes' W08 has been fast, it's also been inconsistent and subject to performance swings often at high downforce tracks, to the point where the car was labeled a 'diva ' by team boss Toto Wolff.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport is reporting that the team's deign department headed by James Allison could change its approach for 2018, with a higher-rake concept like the one used to good effect recently by Red Bull.

"It would be a total concept change," said a Mercedes engineer, quoted by the German publication.

"It requires a completely different floor and diffuser type. And such a change includes the risk of a slow start to development."

Allison, who took up the tech boss role relinquished by Paddy Lowe earlier this year, confirmed Wolff's assessment that the 2017 car is difficult.

"It's not been a bad machine for us," said the British engineer.

"However, we would like a car that is easier to throw at the race track and guarantee that we get every last little bit from it.

"The changes we have been able to make this year we have, and we hope that next year we make something with a slightly sweeter temperament," Allison added.

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