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Formula 1

Mercedes removes contentious element of upgraded front wing

by Matt Beer
2 min read

The Mercedes Formula 1 team appears to have removed the controversial element of its upgraded front wing design so it can be used from this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.

The wing was displayed at the United States GP last weekend but not raced – which the team said was always the plan as it only had one example of it available at that point.

But it also admitted it was involved in what team boss Toto Wolff called an “exchange” with the FIA over the wing’s legality.

The debate centred on the fasteners between the elements of the wing, and whether the profile of them was designed to generate the outwash effect that the 2022 F1 rules have focused on trying to eliminate to improve the racing.

The fasteners in question (see below) have been removed from the updated wing present in the team’s garage at Mexico City on Thursday.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Mexican Grand Prix Preparation Day Mexico City, Mexico

Mercedes technical director Mike Elliott said at Austin last weekend that the team might conclude the contentious element of the upgrade wasn’t worth the risk of a protest.

“Personally, I think we could argue them,” Elliott said.

“But the question becomes whether we want to or not.

“The gain for those bits is so small, is it worth the risk of falling foul of the stewards?”

Though trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin then said in the team’s post-race debrief video that the intention was to use the wing in practice in Mexico and then race it if it performed well, it appears from the version of it on display in the paddock that precautionary modifications have been made.

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