Hamilton and Bottas' Mercedes W12 is a LEGO box

"Right now, it's like someone dumped a full LEGO box in the garage. The car won't be ready until 48 hours before shakedown," says Toto Wolff.


There is no room for error. This could be the title of the work that Mercedes technicians are doing in the Brackley and Brixworth factories (Great Britain). Because the new silver arrow that Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton will pilot, except for last minute surprise, in the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship is in the process of being assembled after an intense program of simulations in the CFD and wind tunnel to recover downforce lost due to modifications to the diffuser or floor of the car promoted by Pirelli and the FIA.

An assembly that Toto Wolff hopes to have completely finished on Sunday, February 28, 48 hours before the shakedown (shooting day) that the seven-time champions will carry out one more season at the Silverstone circuit on March 2: "The car is far from being finished It won't be ready until the final moments before the shakedown, let's say 48 hours beforehand. At the moment there isn't much of the new car that can be seen. It's like someone has tipped over a full LEGO box in the workshop. However, it is impressive to see how the pieces of the puzzle will, little by little, fall into place ".

More than a second of loss due to the new aerodynamic rules on the F1

100 kilometers in total that the department led by James Allison will surely take advantage of to verify that all the sensors and systems of the new car are working correctly before heading to Bahrain to fine-tune its performance: "In recent months it has been quite a challenge trying to recover as much performance as possible. It has been interesting to be in the wind tunnel and work with the CFD to make sure that we recover all the performance we can. Four important aerodynamic changes to prepare for this new season. The combination of these four elements leaves the aerodynamics of the car at a level similar to what it was in 2019. "

Allison highlights the strenuous effort that his section has been making since mid-July south of Northamptonshire (Great Britain) to recover the disadvantage of more than one second per lap that they found that the W12 would suffer with respect to the W11 when they made the first test with the rules of this edition: "The first change is a triangular cut in the edges of the ground in front of the rear wheels. When you see it you might think that it is not very big, but if you just cut that area of the car, you lose a second per lap. Then there are the small fins and rails of the rear brake ducts, which were reduced by a few millimeters. They are a very powerful element and that change cost a lot of performance. The height of the elements in the diffuser area was also reduced, which they can't be as close to the ground anymore. And that means they can't create an aerodynamic seal as effective as before. Lastly, at the front end of the ground, close to the bargeboards (aerodynamic contributor), you can see that those floors are like a blind, with many grooves. It's a load-bearing aerodynamic element, but all of those grooves have been removed by 2021. "

Photos from as.com
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