Thanks to F1 fanatic, we now have our first serious glimpse of the Mercedes W03 car, from the shake down that took place yesterday at Silverstone, and we can make our first few, brief observations. The nose (2) is very rounded both on the vertical and horizontal planes. The famous platypus step (1) is more pronounced arguably than in any other car we’ve witnessed so far, although from that photo I am inclined to believe that what we are seeing are 2 huge vertical bulges (channels running left and right of the nose), and the “inside” part is void (unlike Ferrari which is completely solid). The front suspension (3) is typically pushrod, so Ferrari will officially be the only team on the 2012 grid to feature a pullrod arragenement at the front (we can safely predict that neither Marussia nor HRT will have a pullrod). The sidepods (4) seem to be surprisingly slim (actually ridiculously thin and tiny at the back of the coke bottle shape), with a heavy undercut; also the air intakes seem to be lower than usual. There is an additional cooling inlet (5) for gearbox and (possibly) KERS cooling. The roll hoop construction (6) follows the trend of having the pillars exposed (it’s not the carbon mono-blade design anymore). The exhausts (7) seem to be situated very far forward and we cannot judge the angle from that photograph (more will come, I’m sure, as the days go by…). The rear suspension (8), although it’s not clear in this photograph, will have a pullrod suspension, as per every other car so far and, finally, we cannot see any cooling outlets so I presume the main one will be that over the gearbox (9).
Roll on Barcelona, 21st of February…….