Mercedes GP looks set to reveal a radical new diffuser for the opening race of the F1 season in Bahrain.
According to paddock rumours in the final pre-season test of the year in Barcelona, the Brackley-based outfit is planning to overhaul its diffuser in time for the opening race of the campaign in an effort to gain a competitive edge over its rivals.
The team was at the centre of talk surrounding the diffuser last season – then under the Brawn GP
name - when it started the campaign with a double diffuser which gave it an advantage on track through the opening half of the season, with Jenson Button
winning six of the first seven races en-route to the title.
Rival drivers have given the rumours a luke-warm response however, with both Fernando Alonso
and Pedro de la Rosa
questioning how much could be gained by making a change.
"I do not know what Mercedes will have in Bahrain, but we'll see if it is really something new," Alonso was quoted by ESPN
. "For me, it is just a rumour, like many others."
"Now all the cars have a super diffuser,” de la Rosa added, “and there will be no surprises because the rules have been stretched thin by the engineers."