Amid the noise around technical developments in Barcelona this weekend, the upgrades introduced by Mercedes were of interest to many.
The Spanish Grand Prix is serving as the real-world testbed for the parts added to the W13 – a car that proved to be a handful over the first five races of the season.
Mercedes prepared a series of modifications, with the floor standing out as the main area of focus. The declared objective is to reduce and manage porpoising.
Ever since the 'sidepod-less' concept emerged in pre-season testing, it was clear that it suffered badly from the phenomenon of aerodynamic jolts.
According to the Mercedes engineers, led by Technical Director Mike Elliott, this effect prevented the car from reaching its potential.
For the debut of the new aerodynamic package, nothing was left to chance. Just as Ferrari took advantage of a filming day in Monza last week, Mercedes used up one of their two allocated days for the year at the Paul Ricard track.
The new floor is much more rigid than the previous one, thanks to the adoption of metal inserts along the outer edge.
There is a different design for the lower channels, with rounded profiles, and there is a long, adjustable section designed to increase or decrease the angle of the floor's edge, to control how the floor seals the air under the floor.
Towards the front of the floor, there is the same wave-style edge that was introduced in the early version of the car in winter testing in Barcelona.
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