The new front wing caused a stir in the F1 paddock when it was revealed publicly at last weekend’s United States Grand Prix despite Mercedes never actually running it. 

Mercedes’ experimental new wing featured five enlarged slot gap separators which caught the attention of at least one rival team, who queried the design with the FIA. 

Is Hamilton No Longer the Best Wet Weather Driver?

This led to speculation of an “exchange” between Mercedes and F1’s governing body about whether it complied to the regulations or not.

Mercedes chose not to run the wing all weekend in Austin, explaining it was always the plan not to do so as the team didn’t have enough parts to give to both drivers. 

“The reason we didn’t run it in Austin was that we only had one of those parts,” trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin said in Mercedes’ post-race debrief video. 

“So, if we damaged it during qualifying it would have meant the car that damaged the wing had to start from the back.

“Also with a very busy programme, we had the tyre test in FP2, we didn’t actually have time to evaluate.

“We have more of those parts available in Mexico, we will run that on the Friday, we’ll check it’s all working as expected, and the plan at this stage is to race that wing.”

A revised version of the new front wing - with the controversial flap separators removed - was revealed in the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez paddock on Thursday.