Mercedes changed “almost every square millimetre” of its initial 2019 launch car with the updated aerodynamic concept it introduced during the second week of Formula 1 pre-season testing. 

The reigning world champion outfit debuted a heavily-revised aero package - featuring a new front wing design and noticeable tweaks to other major components - for the final week of testing in Barcelona in a fresh push for added performance ahead of the new season. 

Drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas reported encouraging progress with the team’s upgraded W10, which Mercedes plans to use for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix before continuing to develop the philosophy further throughout the 2019 campaign. 

Hamilton, Bottas debut Mercedes W10

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Speaking in a video that compares Mercedes’ latest challenger - seen in its original launch-spec - with its predecessor, the W09, technical director James Allison said: “As excited as we are about this car, and we truly are excited about it, we know too that almost every square millimetre of this one is going to change once again by the time we get to the first race in Melbourne.

“Because the rate of aerodynamic change at the moment with this new regulation is very rapid, meaning this launch car will be replaced by a whole new set of clothes, that we will take to Melbourne and then keep developing throughout the whole year.”

Allison explained how Mercedes had taken great “pride” in the design process of its 2019 car, which he said had started to make the W09 look “clumsy and naive by comparison” due to the new aerodynamic regulations introduced for this year. 

“As in any year, we are trying to design a car that is not just reacting to the regulation changes but is taking every single opportunity to make the car quicker,” he added. 

“We’ve done that on every teeny tiny part of the car, trying to get every bit pushed the to the limits of what we can get away with. 

"It's an interesting thing that things we thought last year were a source of great pride to us that we thought we had pushed to the very limit, start to look clumsy and naive by comparison.

"Take last year's sidepods as an example, they were something we made quite a big fuss about because they were tighter than we'd ever managed to make them in any previous year.

"But look at these sidepods [on the 2019 car], look at this bodywork, and it is just vacuum-wrapped to the car in a way that we just wouldn't have thought possible 12 months earlier. Similarly on the front suspension, we've been able to lift them further.

"The same is true everywhere, if you were to take the skin off this car and look underneath it you'd find that in every part of the car it's been just pushed a tighter, made a bit stiffer, made a bit lighter and just bought more performance."

 

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