SportF1Technical analysis of the Mercedes W13, a car with...

Technical analysis of the Mercedes W13, a car with a different philosophy

The Mercedes W13 is the antithesis of the Ferrari. If the red car left the impression of large surfaces, the silver arrow minimizes them, making them two opposing cars when it comes to addressing the incoming 2022 regulations.

The Formula 1 with ground effect designed by James Allison and Mike Elliott goes in the opposite direction of the double bottom that they have followed at Maranello, but also at Aston Martin and Alfa Romeo.

The technical director, Mike Elliott , was quite succinct in defining what has remained the same in the W13 compared to the 2021 car: “Just the steering wheel”. The design is completely new, starting with the cockpit, which has been brought forward a bit to create a car whose long rear end reveals the shape of the ground above the Venturi channel.

Mercedes W13: doubtful cooling

We’ve never seen anything like it, the sides of the car are very short, but the heat from the radiators flows into a channel on each side of the power unit, which then empties into a vent at the end of the engine cover. It’s a legitimate question if power unit cooling is adequate, and Brackley’s have a couple of solutions ready.

Open shark gills under the Team Viewer inscription, or resort to the vents on the sides of the halo we saw last year, though the mouth that feeds the radiating masses is anything but small, rectangular in shape, with curved edges and the upper anti-intrusion cone is incorporated.

The lower one, on the other hand, creates a protuberance at the bottom, so much so that the side remains hollow. If the shape of the belly is reminiscent of the W12 (albeit with a more complex design) the layout is actually completely new, as the electrical system, control units and hydraulics have all had to be relocated.

The rear-view mirror mount, the one on the edge of the floor, has been transformed into a flow diverter that follows the curvature of the sidewall and pushes air away from the rear wheel.

Mercedes W13: the vortices of the flat bottom return

Detalle de los vórtices del fondo plano del Mercedes W13

Detail of the vortices of the flat bottom of the Mercedes W13

Further down, on the trailing edge of the bottom, we see the presence of six “shells” or vortexes of increasing radius and size towards the rear, picking up on a different aerodynamic concept that didn’t work last year.

Brackley engineers have instrumented with pitot tubes a part of the floor that precedes the elbow where the diffuser leans. The airbox of the M13 engine almost protrudes from the headrest, and has retained the typical Mercedes shape with three lobes, within which you can see the anti-roll bar and a series of sensors to measure fuel flow.

The power unit cover slopes towards the rear, so vertical drift is evident, showing a long ridge.

Mercedes W13: multi-link links in the rear suspension

Detalle de la suspensión trasera del Mercedes W13

Detail of the rear suspension of the Mercedes W13

The rear suspension does not betray the pull-rod scheme , but the kinematics have been revised to facilitate aerodynamics. The upper triangle has given way to two multi-link links with the rear inserted on the hub side higher than the front, however underneath the axle is faired in the lower triangle.

The rear wing is supported by a single pylon that extends to the DRS actuator , and the main wing profile shows two scoops, one on each side, while the movable flap is simpler.

Mercedes W13: complex front spoiler

Detalle del alerón delantero del Mercedes W13

Detail of the front spoiler of the Mercedes W13

At the front, its long nose is conspicuous, extending to the main profile of the forewing, which takes on a slight spoon shape in the central part. In this area you can see the only similarity with the F1-75, the wing profiles with an increasingly shorter shape as you go up towards the moving flaps.

This last element is interesting because the outer portion has zero incidence to leave room for the flow that is pushed out by the front wheel, while the inner part has a duct to feed the flow destined for the Venturi channel.

Nor should we overlook the three flaps that narrow on the side to generate an eye-catching blow because the elements are not only aligned, but also create a kind of scale.

Mercedes W13: push-rod front suspension

Detalle de la suspensión delantera push-rod del Mercedes W13

Mercedes W13 push-rod front suspension detail

The front suspension follows a push-rod configuration, with an upper wishbone being incorporated into the carbon-covered steering arm to help separate the flow intended for cooling from that which must enter the Venturi channel. The brake air intake is rectangular, and consists of four openings.

The W13 shows its own personality just like the Ferrari F1-75, with two totally different philosophies. Barcelona’s pre-season tests will tell which one is correct.

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