Mercedes GP W02 -First major diffuser upgrade taking place before Melbourne
During early testing W02 showed poor performance , being unable to challenge top teams ,thus Mercedes launched major updates before season kick start in Melbourne including new bargeboards , exhaust layout , front and rear wing , nose vanes , sidepod panels and rear end major modifications among of which a new diffuser .
Barcelona test on March , used in Melbourne
Speaking for the new diffuser it features double small vertical fences now and a new less boxy central zone to extract air from under the floor more efficiently . The new central zone forced the team to put under change the little hole which permit mechanics to enter the engine starter . Moreover the tab fence across the diffuser edge was restricted in length being cut off thoroughly from the sides ,a change triggered by the new exhaust layout, the new nose vanes ,the revised sidepod panels and bargeboards which in total changed the way air flows around the car body and towards the diffuser . Finally the beam wing which had a raised lower section close to the endplates is now flat, a changed linked to the increase in number of the rear brake winglets (will be analyzed in another post) and an additional winglet is placed over the rear structure to generate more downforce (all changes in yellow color pointed with red arrows) .
All changes paid off as the pace was improved but yet could not match the top teams both in qualify and race conditions .