Mercedes S-duct evolution

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While other teams have been busy copying Mercedes' S-duct inlets in the nose cone, the championship team itself was busy further developing its own device. The team have certainly taken inspiration from McLaren's solution of 2016, with an outlet ahead of the kink in the nose cone, and split up by the fairing around the pitot tube.

An image taken today by f1today also shows the clear evolution that Mercedes have done, making the outlet clearly a lot larger than it was on the F1 W07. On last year's car, the slot exit was located aft of the pitot tube, and quite far behind the front bulkhead as well. This year, the outlet was moved considerably further forward. This is particularly noticeable when you take into account that the pitot tube has not moved relative to the front bulkhead.

Today's image also shows how the front wishbones connect to the monocoque, with the upper ones connecting to the chassis at the highest possible point. It appears as such that the S-duct exit was made as wide as was possible while ensuring rigidity for the suspension. The steering arm enters the chassis ahead of the front bulkhead, with the steering rack also screwed onto the chassis, ahead of the front bulkhead, but protected inside a carbon fibre housing. The latter should also make a quick nose cone change easier.




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