As part of its latest update package of the season in F1, Mercedes unveiled a new front wing for the W13 at the United States Grand Prix last week, and it was on view for the first time last Thursday.
But some of Mercedes’ rivals had raised concerns with the FIA about the use of a novel wing spacer bracket design, and its legality within the regulations.
Mercedes had not planned to race with the wing in Austin, but after being asked by the FIA to make changes, a modified version has now appeared.
Technical director Mike Elliott said last Sunday that although the team thought the wing was within the regulations, modifications could be made to avoid protest from rivals.
The updated version of the wing has appeared at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez ahead of this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.
Since the wing redesign doesn’t rely entirely on the wash -generating brackets mounted between the two upper flaps , the team appears to have removed them and replaced them with the more conventional horseshoe-shaped brackets.
The wings still bear the marks left by where the brackets were attached to the wings – the darker spots – because the team had to carefully remove them without damaging the rest of the elements.
The outer wing will continue to carry the new design features, with the flaps and endplate junction altered to better influence airflow and create more output than the previous wing design.
It remains to be seen whether Mercedes or any of its rivals will follow the style of the slot spacer bracket design seen in Austin (below, inset).
However, the FIA is also thought to have second thoughts, as it moves away from the main purpose of the design, which is to be a flex-reducing support rather than something that plays a more prominent aerodynamic role.