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Analysis - Mercedes’ mystery ‘S-duct’

15 Nov 2015

At first sight it appeared that Mercedes were running an S-duct in the nose of the F1 W06 Hybrid in Brazil, although technical chief Paddy Lowe denied that it worked like the one used this season by Red Bull, McLaren and Force India. In fact what looked like an experimental aerodynamic device was in reality hiding something else the world champions were trying for 2016.

On Lewis Hamilton’s car in FP1 there was a completely new front suspension, with new mounting points, which were to evaluate how the car would work with a higher chassis, clearly something Mercedes are developing for next year to improve airflow under the chassis. Although subtle, this solution was visible from the bonded bulge on top of the car’s nose.

The ruse was confirmed when after FP1, the Mercedes mechanics removed the new rocker, damper and pedal assembly to refit the standard version for the rest of the weekend.