Mercedes set to run new front wing on W13 in Mexico

© XPB 

Mercedes is set to run in Mexico the new front wing that drew a lot of scrutiny last weekend at the US Grand Prix.

Mercedes had brought to Austin one example of a new front wing design that was initially part of a comprehensive upgrade package for its W13 silver arrow.

However, the risk related to the element's limited availability coupled with an inquiry by the FIA that questioned the concept's legality encouraged the Brackley squad to leave the wing unused all weekend.

But Mercedes technical director Mike Elliott says the team could have successfully argued its case, although he admitted there was little to gain by doing so.

"Personally, I think we could argue them," Elliott said in Austin. "But the question becomes whether we want to or not.

"The gain for those bits is so small, is it worth the risk of falling foul of the stewards?"

For the FIA, there were suspicions around the wing's fasteners. While Mercedes argued that their primary role was to keep the wing planes together, the stewards were inclined to believe that they were purposefully designed to achieve an aero gain.

In its US Grand Prix video debrief released by Mercedes on its YouTube channel, trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin explained that an arrival of new parts could allow the team to test its new wing at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

"The reason we didn’t run it in Austin was that we only had one of those parts," Shovlin explained.

"Also with a very busy programme, we had the tyre test in FP2, we didn’t actually have time to evaluate.

"We have more of those parts available in Mexico, we will run that on the Friday, we’ll check it’s all working as expected, and the plan at this stage is to race that wing."


Ahead of last week's US Grand Prix, Mercedes said the changes implemented on its W13 for Austin represented the team's last major update package for 2022.

But Shovlin revealed that small developments would continue to find their way onto Mercedes car as part of its 2023 development programme.

"That is our last major update but there are always a string of new parts, smaller parts, that we are looking at," he said.

"Either to get a small gain in performance, [or] at a lot of it as this stage of the year though is learning for next year, so some of those test parts are really just trying to understand some of the development direction we want to go in.

"So like I said, it’s the last major update, but it won’t be the last change to the car."

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