Formula 1 is just about the most cutthroat sport there is, with masses of engineers and strategists fighting to gain even the slightest margin over their competitors.
One team that doesn’t necessarily need this extra advantage is Mercedes, I think we can all agree that their dominance is clear. With the latest iteration of their car, however, it seems to be showing an odd aerodynamic characteristic. It was widely speculated that it would have an extended fin, similar to the Sauber and Renault cars, though this was missing – in its place, some kind of upright sprouting from the rear of the engine cover.
Craig Scarborough (@scarbstech) posted the below image speculating that it could be a slight loophole on aerodynamics regulations
He went on to describe how it could be used:
The Mercedes ran at Silverstone with a very strange looking component on the engine cover, initially it was thought to be some kind of sensor mount – but it appears that it may in fact be an aerodynamic component. The dimensions of it seem to be the width and height of the old 2016 spec rear wing, perhaps exploiting a leftover from the old technical regulations carried over into the ’17 rule book.
Very interesting indeed – however, could it all be a ruse to fool other teams into investigating this strange addition to the bodywork? It’s definitely been done before in F1, as per Gordon Murray and the mysterious aluminium box which took the focus away from his actual creation, the self adjusting ride height to meet regulations when stationary.
I think we have to assume that either way, Mercedes are thinking ahead brilliantly.