MERCEDES have been the talk of the F1 paddock this week in Bahrain after unveiling their new-look W13.
Mercedes could well come under scrutiny just days before the start of the new F1 season with an FIA meeting scheduled for Tuesday to discuss “discrepancies” in some of the cars’ designs under the new regulations. The Silver Arrows caught the attention of everyone in the F1 paddock after unveiling Lewis Hamilton’s new car on Thursday.
The bold sidepod design had everybody talking with the new slimline look reportedly producing strong simulator results.
That didn’t translate so much on the track this week with Mercedes dealing with their own problems.
Both Red Bull and Ferrari appear to be the frontrunners ahead of the first race of the season next weekend.
But there are still set to be several more talking points in the coming days with an FIA meeting scheduled for Tuesday.
According to The Race, at least one rival team are set to raise objections to designs on Mercedes’ car.
While the sidepods attracted plenty of attention, it is the wing mirrors on the W13 which may be the biggest talking point.
Mattia Binotto hinted that he felt Mercedes had broken the rules in terms of the wing mirrors providing an aerodynamic feature to the W13.
“Already in the past, we said the mirrors should have no aero purpose,” Binotto said.
“They should be there just to look behind and I think the way that they [Mercedes] design the cars has a significant aero purpose in the mirrors.”
FIA chief Nikolas Tombazis has confirmed that discussions will take place in the coming days where teams will get the chance to iron out any issues.
“We always assess rules for following years, and we assess whether things are clear, Tombazis said.
“And when there are new rules, sometimes certain things may not have been phrased as well as we intended and so on.
“By and large, the level of discrepancy is quite low from what was intended. But there are a few little areas and we’ve discussed that with the teams.
“We’ll have another TAC meeting Tuesday to discuss these matters.”
But Tombazis appeared to hint that the FIA haven’t noticed anything illegal on the Mercedes.
“By and large, I would say there hasn’t been something that we think is contrary to the objectives of the regulations,” he said.