At the rear of the car, Mercedes has taken a fairly conventional approach. The German marque opted for a low-drag rear wing in Miami, but the team went to extremes at the front of the W13. Mercedes is currently plagued by porpoises and is doing everything it can to get the phenomenon under control. The goal, of course, is to stay as close to the ground as possible.
It can clearly be seen that the design of the top flap has been modified, with the portion previously removed returning to its normal curvature. Note that the photo on the left shows the new wing and the photo on the right shows the previous specification. However, the team gave top priority to the outer corner of the front wing when making adjustments.
Not only is the leading edge of the main plate curved, but a new approach has been taken in the area of the meeting of the minor flaps and the end plate. In this way, the team is trying to regain some of the lost flow (outwash) under the new regulations.
The flaps have been pulled forward very aggressively in the outer portion such that the trailing edge on the underside of the endplate detaches completely from the small flaps. The team had to add extra metal to the design to prevent the flaps or endplate from bending more than allowed.
It’s an interesting approach as the airflow changes drastically. The situation is different not only with the tires, but also creates a kind of suction effect on the other downstream structures. Given the extreme design and the fact that most F1 teams have previously developed similar solutions, it is unlikely that this was taken into account when the regulations were drafted. No doubt it will make other formations question their own development paths.
The new rear wing on the Mercedes W13 in Miami
At the rear of the car, Mercedes has developed a rear wing that has less air resistance. The team still uses a traditional design as we have seen in previous eras. This means a flat leading edge rather than the spoon-shaped design some competitors use. The design of the wings has been slightly revised. The outside of the upper wing has been narrowed to reduce drag.