Reigning world champions Mercedes have tweeted images of the car they hope will help them retain the championship for the third year in a row.
While the W07 looks largely similar to its predecessor, Paddy Lowe has revealed that most of the changes come on the inside. “It’s difficult to have a complete revolution when the rules have stayed pretty much the same year on year,” he explained. “We aim to make minor revolutions whenever we can – even within a small context. We may look at a completely new packaging solution or suspension concept, for instance. Underneath there are quite a lot of mini revolutions that make up an overall evolution for the new season.”
“It’s very tough to find performances under a stable set of regulations,” he continued. “We were particularly pleased with how the car turned out in 2015 when we had the same situation. The team did a fantastic job – digging very deep to find all sorts of innovations in areas that might have been considered static. 2016 is another carry-over year from a regulatory point of view and potential gains inevitably become harder to find under these circumstances. This is what tests an engineering team the most and I must say that this team has been very good at that. It’s far easier to find performance when yo have a new set of rules, that’s for sure.”
It’s not only with the chassis that Mercedes hope strides will be made, they have also been working to maintain the level of performance their engine gave in 2015. “To get the performance out of this new generation of Power Units, you need to chase efficiency,” Andy Cowell explained. “That’s both combustion efficiency and efficiency in the various energy transition steps – i.e. MGU-H, MGU-K, turbocharger, power electronics and batteries. We’re constantly working on every single piece of the puzzle to improve performance at the crankshaft, while also seeking to ensure we don’t suffer any of the problems we had last year with reliability. So, it’s about getting down to the root cause of issues and making sure that everything is robust across our whole process, as much as extracting performance.”