A PERFECT MERC?
Pacesetting team strives to be even better in 2016
Aside from the revised colour scheme, you could be forgiven for thinking Mercedes has simply re-stickered its 2015 car as it begins its search for a third season of domination.
With the technical regulations staying largely stable for this year – barring some new legislation that requires larger driver head protection, as is visible by the widening of the cockpit surrounds – it’s been hard for Mercedes to improve on the near-perfection of 2015.
Instead the team has focused on refining the W07 in every area, according to team technical chief Paddy Lowe: “After a highly successful season all round in 2015, our priority has been to identify the areas in which we were weakest and to try to improve on those.
“Our objective is excellence in all areas and, while we had some fantastic results last year, there are many areas in which we can still be much better. We are seeking optimisation absolutely everywhere.
“It’s difficult to have a complete revolution when the rules have stayed pretty much the same year on year. But we aim to make minor revolutions wherever we can, even within a small context. So while the car may look very similar to its predecessor from the outside, underneath there are quite a lot of mini revolutions that make up an overall evolution for the new season.”
The most notable physical change can be found in the air intake and rollhoop. These have been significantly widened to improve flow to the turbo, and also aid the new, larger – and louder – exhaust. Mercedes insists that it hasn’t held back on power unit development either, freely spending its allotted development tokens in search of extra efficiency in each area of its pacesetting engine.
Lowe adds that the tight testing schedule of just eight pre-season test days means the cars will head to Melbourne closer to launch spec than ever before.
“We’ve now reached a new minimum in terms of winter testing, with two banks of four days,” added Lowe. “That’s something the team has been preparing for by producing better designs and undertaking better preparation and testing in the lab so that we’re as well placed as possible to hit the ground running.
“Both tests are very close to the first race. This has notably reduced the extent to which we can upgrade the car from ‘launch spec’ to the first-race spec. It’s very difficult to find any time for upgrades.”
FEBRUARY 24 2016
TEAM STATS Mercedes Chassis F1 W07 Hybrid Engine Mercedes PU106C
History Races 127 Wins 45 Poles 53 Fastest laps 38 Teams’ titles 2