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Mercedes

Mercedes stun ex-F1 driver with 'very bold moves'

Mercedes is hoping to mount a challenge towards the front of the Formula 1 field this year following two difficult campaigns competing off the pace.

Hamilton Mercedes shakedown W15
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To news overview © Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

Former Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean has stated that the Mercedes W15 features some “very bold moves” within its design.

Mercedes enters the upcoming campaign after finishing second in the Constructors' Championship last year.

The Brackley-based squad endured its first winless season since 2011, with rivals Red Bull dominating the year by scoring 21 victories from 22 Grands Prix.

The W15 will be Lewis Hamilton's final Mercedes car before the seven-time World Champion departs the squad for Ferrari next year.

Grosjean has praised the designers of the Mercedes challenger as he eagerly awaits to see its performance on the track.

“I think it is the car, with the Red Bull, I’m the most intrigued to see on track,” Grosjean said on his YouTube channel.

“I think there’s some very bold moves. There are some very bold decisions made on the car. Look at that front wing and that big scoop. It does remind me a lot of the 2006 F1 cars that I used to be in love with… and then those sidepods.

“They went for a very small entry to get as much flow as they can under the sidepods.”

'Very intense' front wing

Mercedes has fallen back in the pecking order ever since new technical regulations were introduced in 2022 and it opted to scrap its development direction early last year after conceding it would not return to the front of the grid.

Among the talking points from its new car is the front wing, which does not follow a rival team's philosophy, but rather utilises its own innovation.

Grosjean labelled the design as “very intense” and detailed that it will be pivotal to the car's overall performance.

“But I’m very excited about that front wing, very excited about that sidepod entry, the front wing design, with a lot of very different plate sizes, flap sizes,” Grosjean added.

“That front wing is very intense. Very, very loaded, so they must be very confident in the rear downforce because there’s one thing that is very easy to do in Formula 1, is create a lot of front downforce – you just put on a big front wing and you’re going to have all the downforce in the world you want.

“But every flow of air that hits a Formula 1 car hits the front wing first, so if the air doesn’t go exactly where you’re planning on getting it after it hits the front wing, you are not going to go anywhere, and that is a key element in every Formula 1 car.

“I must admit there are very, very intense choices on that car, and I’m excited to see what it does.

“I’m really hoping to see Mercedes back fighting at the front with Ferrari, with Red Bull, with Aston Martin, with McLaren, with anyone basically, I want everyone to be fighting.

“But I think in terms of everything we’ve seen, everyone seems to be quite conventional to the points that’s on the Mercedes that is very different and very unique.”

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