F1 Teams Debut Early Race Car Upgrades
The Spanish GP is the annual stage for the 1st battle in the Top teams’ Development Wars
World champion MercedesAMG, stung by their defeats to Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) in Australia and Bahrain, this week delivered an extensively upgraded W08 racer for Barcelona. The updates include a lighter gearbox and suspension changes to the front and rear.
The scoop-style vanes have been attached to the front wing of the W08 for the Spanish GP with more changes made to the rear of the car and around the bargeboards. The nose of the race car has been trimmed.
It appears MercedesAMG have not engineered all of the excess weight out of the W08 yet.
“We have managed to make some decent steps but we are not yet where we want it yet,” team boss Toto Wolff said. “We are not there yet.”
The significant MercedesAMG upgrade is the 1st shot in what is expected to be a year-long Development War with Ferrari in their battle for overall supremacy.
At Ferrari, currently at the head of the Drivers’ Championship, and just 1 point behind MercedesAMG in the constructors’, it has been far harder to spot the additions to the SF70-H since Russia.
The only thing noticeable is the change in the T-Wing.
Kimi Raikkonen tried it out in FP-1 and it has 4 elements, 2 at the top and 2 underneath it, a part for that nothing more is visable.
There are surely more tweaks under the surface with Sebastian Vettel, who ran the new T-wing in FP-2, saying “I don’t know who brought the most updates, it is about who brought the best.”
Christian Horner has described the additions to Red Bull’s car at Barcelona as a “Development” of the RB13 that ran relatively disappointingly in the season’s opening rounds.
“It’s predominantly aerodynamics,” the Red Bull chief said. “So you’ll see around the mid-car area, the bargeboards and so on, it’s quite significantly different. Then that rolls into floors and sidepod areas as well, so it’s a collective number of parts.”
The new parts include revised endplates front and rear, with a new-look bargeboard and diffuser also part of the package.
Notably the the FIA has extended the main DRS zone at the Circuit de Catalunya in a bid to help overtaking at the Spanish Grand Prix.
The Weekend Weather
Initially we were expected to see a high chance of rain, and the F1 fans would enjoy a good wet race. But that will not likely happen this time around with 0% chance of precipitation.
Cool and sunny in Barcelona with some temperate weather, and we’re good to go for Qualifying Saturday.