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Mercedes relentless in mission to clawback lost downforce

Mercedes relentless in mission to clawback lost downforce

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Mercedes relentless in mission to clawback lost downforce

Mercedes relentless in mission to clawback lost downforce

Mercedes technical director James Allison has said the team has spent an "intense period in the wind tunnel" attempting to regain downforce lost through regulation changes for the coming season.

Through a series of minor changes to the rear brake ducts, diffuser fences and the removal of some slots on the floor, the FIA estimated cars would lose around 4-5 per cent of the overall downforce experienced in 2020.

Factor in a significant change to the floor, however, with a diagonal edge removing a substantial piece of bodywork and the drop is more likely to stand at around 10 per cent. This will set downforce levels closer more to those seen in 2019 than last year.

As with every team, Mercedes is working tirelessly to regain this loss with Allison confirming the team has spent plenty of wind tunnel hours in its search.

"Much of our focus over the last weeks and months has been trying to understand what the effect of those changes have on the main flow fields around the car and how to try to find back the performance that is lost when you first adopt those new regulations," he said.

Although it was confirmed ahead of last season in March that teams would run largely unchanged machinery 2020 again this year, the aerodynamic tweaks were not confirmed until August.

He added: "So, a very intense period in the wind tunnel and in our computational aerodynamic facility to try and understand how to get that performance back on the car.

"Then once we made that improvement in the Aero department, we then need to translate that into components that are built full-sized and put on the car in time for the new season."

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