Mercedes shocks Formula 1 with car ‘without sidepods’

Mercedes F1 Bahrain (ANP)

The Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 team has appeared in Bahrain at the last winter test with a very extremely modified car. The W13 has almost no ‘sidepods’ anymore and is therefore very different from the other cars.

For the past two weeks there have been rumors that Mercedes would appear in Bahrain with a very different car than it had during the winter test in Barcelona. Stories also surfaced about the ‘lack of sidepods’, the large air intakes on the side of the car. That would be very surprising, but it is true. Today is the first of the last three days of testing and the W13 actually has almost no sidepods anymore.

Where the other cars, as usual, have air intakes that protrude widely, approximately at the driver’s height, the Mercedes W13 is very narrow at that point. There are still air inlets, but they are very narrow and turned a quarter turn. Thus, there is an elongated narrow inlet very close to the monocoque, instead of the inlets sticking out wide. on this picture it’s good to see what that looks like.

Mercedes F1 Bahrain Hamilton (ANP)

According to various media, there is admiration in the paddock in Bahrain at the extreme approach of Mercedes. Such a ‘slim’ design could make Mercedes lightning fast, especially on the straights, because there is less air resistance than usual. Last year’s biggest rival, Red Bull Racing, is said to have expressed doubts about the legality of the Mercedes. Incidentally, according to chief designer Adrian Newey, Red Bull is still testing the ‘Barcelona car’ today. On Friday and Saturday there will be upgrades to the RB18, which according to Newey ‘can be spotted immediately with the naked eye’. Auto, Motor und Sport on.

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