Mercedes revised THE sidepod inlets to improve cooling efficiency at last winter test , with the sidepods having now a circular inlet .
To solve any cooling issues mechanics added extra gills located behind the Petronas logo just above the new exhaust layout . The gilled bodypart can be easily removed and replaced by a solid piece of bodywork in cooler conditions to favor aero efficiency .In an attempt to improve airflow above the sidepods the former openings close to the cockpit sides were replaced by gilled slots .
3.Gills to aid cooling
The new regulations forced teams to ban multiple deck diffuser and put under rethink any diffuser exhaust blown configuration . All teams including Mercedes to decrease the downforce loss caused by the previous mentioned changes put all their efforts on slimming significantly the car end to offer a cleaner airflow towards the rear . Mercedes even had to revert from push rod to pull rod rear suspension . The exhausts are placed close to the floor and pointing outwards to blow the hot emissions towards the outer diffuser section , a solution might help also to heat the rear tyres . Sauber instead exploits the engine starter hole to blow through the emissions to energize diffuser .
The body cover wraps so tightly around the internal mechanical parts , just like skin , making the team to open gills at the back to prevent overheating , as the single oval hot air outlet above the rear light was found insufficient to meet the cooling needs . However some heat oxidized spots were observed at the back of the car , a sign to alert mechanics to refine cooling treatment of the car . Thus for the second pre season test at Jerez the team tried two alternative extra options seen below
Large slots above the radiators
small outlets at both cockpit sides
An asymmetric configuration of the two options was also tested with the right sidepod featuring the larger slot above the radiators and the left one the small hole close to the cockpit , revealing that the oil radiator should be housed inside the right sidepod tunnel .