While Red Bull has been quite aggressive introducing smaller updates on a regular basis, Mercedes has been biding its time to install something bigger in one go.
The update has focused on the central part of the car and has tried to solve some of the aerodynamic problems posed by the changes to the 2021 regulations.
Instead of progressing on these problems, as others have done, Mercedes has tackled them with a comprehensive upgrade package. Here we analyze in depth all the changes.
Mercedes AMG F1 W12 pontoon deflector comparison.
Photo by: Giorgio Piola
The deflector skyscraper It has been shortened, allowing all the slats of the Venetian blind assembly to extend forward, increasing its influence on air flow.
The skyscraper main deflector has been divided into two sections, eliminating the arch that previously framed the shoulder of the pontoon and instead offering two surfaces with which to create vortices.
The pontoon winglet now features a design that is visible across most of the grill, with an upturned tip that alters the course and vorticity of the airflow.
It’s an interesting 180 degree turn when you consider that it went down this path with a similar upgrade package for the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix, but returned to the framed solution for 2020.
There have been numerous changes in this direction, not only as the first wave smoothed out in the arrangement of the “undulating” ground. The skyscraper deflector is now connected to the ground across its full width, while a third “r” shaped vane has been deployed.
A submerged section in the bottom volute replaces the deeper wave, while the shape of the fin support has also been modified.
After filing the edge of the ground, the aerodynamicists filled in that volume with a secondary flap.
Most of the grill now has angular fins in this position between the pontoon and the ground in one way or another, and Mercedes has added four to its arsenal as they seek to guide the flow of air that is being shed.
A little further down, four more fins have also been added, the angle and shape of which are slightly different from those in front.
Red Bull keeps pushing …
The new floor of the Red Bull Racing RB16B
Photo by: Giorgio Piola
Having introduced new parts in almost every race this season, Red Bull has a program that leaves its drivers uncoordinated, and Max Verstappen receives the improvements one race before Sergio Pérez.
At the British Grand Prix he continued this formula, as a new solution found its way into the RB16B the Verstappen and Silverstone.
Mounted in the center of the floor was a new step-shaped briefcase, complete with three levels that are angled towards the edge of the floor and undoubtedly provide flow assistance to the other aerodynamic surfaces trying to carry the flow of air through and around the rear tire.