Mercedes' W01 features considerable updates at Spain, including an all new airbox. The team is taking a completely different route in this area compared to its rivals by lowering the height of the air inlet to just behind the driver's helmet. The vertical crash structure is now completely decoupled from that aerodynamic function. In the first 4 races of the season, the W01 already featured this vertical crash protection running through the airbox.
The new design attempt to improve the airflow onto the rear wing by reducing as much elements as possible from the upper air stream. Mercedes is also still running its passive blown rear wing system, contrary to other teams attempting to make an active one through a shark fin engine cover.
Image by F1fanatic
I'm wondering about the obvious disadvantages of the shark fin engine cover during cornering, particularly at high speeds. I understand the straight line efficiency of halving the flow over the rear wing to minimize the turbulence caused by the driver's head and intake system; but I imagine the effect the shark fin imposes through a high speed turn to be a vacuum on the outside rear, with highly compressed air flowing over the inside edge of the fin and over the rear wing. This would cause some lateral force on the rear tyres. I wonder how the shark fins performed on turn 8 in Turkey, specifically their effect on the rear tyres.
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