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Tech insight - Mercedes’ and Toro Rosso’s shared suspension trick

21 Mar 2017

Given how tight the F1 regulations are - and the quality of design and engineering talent involved - it’s perhaps no surprise that new cars from different teams can often look similar. What rarely happens, however, is for two teams to independently produce unique but very similar solutions for a small, detail feature on their machines…

That is exactly what has happened this year with the front suspension designs on the Toro Rosso STR13 (above) and Mercedes' W08 (below).

In order to raise the height of the suspension, rather than the outer pickup point of the top wishbone being attached directly to the upright as normal, both teams have added an extension (red arrows) to the upright.

This will, of course, affect how the suspension works, but the main aim of the increased height is to improve airflow passing from the front of the car to the sidepods immediately behind the suspension.

This is of greater importance in 2017, because of (a) the increased size of the tyres, and (b) the return of complex aerodynamic devices and bargeboards, previously prohibited, in the area in front of the sidepods.

Mercedes’ and Toro Rosso’s solutions are elegant, and something not seen on any car last year.