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New Mercedes F1 car, first glimpse
New Mercedes F1 car, first glimpse
Posted By: James Allen  |  30 Jan 2011   |  3:59 pm GMT  |  73 comments

A graphic image of the new Mercedes F1 car, designated MGP W02, has been released to the media this afternoon, after it had been leaked to a German newspaper.

The car is due to be launched in Valencia on Tuesday and carries the hopes of Mercedes and of drivers Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher that it will be more competitive than last year’s car.

Like the Ferrari launched on Friday, the trend for the high nose is in evidence. There has also been some work on the sidepods and and air intake, from the looks of things. It’s hard to tell much from this image, which is clearly a teaser – not least because when I downloaded the image the title of it was ‘teaser’. How very new media!

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I called Ferrari 2011 car agressive looking, I was wrong. Mercedes is much more agressive, buetiful and thin-light one. Maybe colours help to impress me… don’t know.


Looks way better than last years car and I hope it performs better too.


It certainly looks great, lets hope it’s a winner too!


With the 2011 cars that are out, the theme seems to be high flat nose and a pullrod rear…we would have never have guessed at that !


BTW, why have Lotus launched their car in the dark ? Is it really that ugly a design or has someone not paid the lighting bill ?


A graphic image? As opposed to…an audio image?


I know the front wing will be updated, but this is last years front wing which took all its cues from the 2009 front wing!! Come on Mercedes, do something inspiring, I can’t stand it when Manufacturers produce unimaginitive car designs like this!!! Especially as its a pretty fake looking picture.


Its not even unveiled yet.

Mercedes have a very good front wing, why change for the sake of it?


Change is all part of the game in F1 my friend. Iterration after Iterration will be made, tested and chucked in a skip until they find one that gives them another 10th of a second. The front wing concept is all important as it’s the first thing to meet the air, it has to be right to make the rest of the car work.

In 2009, Red Bull made approx 72 versions of their front wing and this is quite normal.

I can’t imagine Ross Brawn has ever said “oh that’ll do” in his life. Can you?


Well clearly its not as good as the Red Bull one hence last seasons poor showing.

Hence this years Merc front wing is a significantly different model albeit remaining a single flap concept.

Whilst you may perceive little change to the front wing, it is clear to me that every nuance has been reworked.

If they merely bolted the front wing off the BGP001 onto this years car they would be nowhere near the pace.

Regardless, the is no “capital gain” being considered when refining a car. The only consideration is speed, speed and more speed. Money is of no concern. The budget is established and they will spend it on speed until it runs out.



You miss the point entirely. What capital gain is there for a team to show off its finalised front wing for 2011, allowing rivals the chance to copy any new ideas.

Never mind that, but the Brawn BGP001 front wing was the wing to have in 2009, and was copied up and down the pitlane by the majority of temas including Red Bull. Testimony to the fact the W01 had a pretty much unchanged front wing for the entirety of 2010.

Now unless there has been a paradigm shift in front wing design, changing a working front wing stupid, pure and simple. Note How Red Bulls front wing looks pretty much unchanged.

I repeat, why change somthing that works perfectly well? There will be revisions in time, SUBTLE ones.


It is common at this stage to bolt on last years wing element for initial publicity shots. This is because they don’t want to reveal their flow concept. Rival aero engineers can tell how the car is generally working its air by taking a look at the front wing layout so it makes sense to hold a few things back for now.

The’ll probably run with it for a few days and then as the tests go by you’ll see more adventurous looking solutions appearing/disappearing/being replaced/modified.

I expect the single flap to be retained though because this is the configuration that produces most downforce. It is more prone to stalling issues but if you can get it right it will suit Mr. Schumacher down to the ground as it will give him a nice pointy car that he can pound the living daylights out of.



sure you’ve seen it, but the Team Lotus car for this year appears to have a very similar airbox design (although a little higher up) than last years mercedes.

I’d understood a blade type support for the camera was dissallowed?

I’m assuming that forms part of the crash and role structure, and has to be tested prior to release (so it has already been approved)?



or even Roll structure 😉


People think Ferrari are under pressure this year but in my opinion all eyes are going to be on Mercedes this year. A poor season last year and with such an early focus on the 2011 car you would think Mercedes should be a force to be reckoned with this year.

With such a huge investment into the team and brand, anything less than few wins this season will be a disaster for the team. Here’s hoping Michael and Nico can do the job.


I agree with you there. Mercedes have been successful as an engine supplier in F1, and I doubt they will expect anything less from their team.

I read an excellent quote in F1 magazine (a rare thing indeed IMO), from Pat symonds about Schumacher. He said, michael doesnt care how unstable the car is, as long as its fast.

I dont think you lose “it”, whatever it is, over a couple of years off. If they give him a pointy front end it will be interesting to see how Michael does this year.

Similarly Nico showed a lot last year, if he continues to do that he will start getting talked about a lot more.


Rubbish! Its a computer image!


no sidepod vanes


@James – I was wondering what you made of the whole “pull rod vs push rod” debate. I believe Ferrari have kept the suspension the same as last year, but other teams, mercedes included judging by the pic, look set to copy the red bull pull rod. Do you think this could be a deciding factor in the race for this years titles? And which one is most likely to be the best?


Looks sleek and sexy! Much better than last years clunky tank of a thing.


I think that the car will not look like this when we are going to see it for real. It is a teaser…


This is not a Red Bull copy other than the frontal nose section. And all teams are going high because of the standard weight distribution this year. There is no benefit in going low nose for 2011.

As for the sidepods, they are very much BGP001/W01 evolutions. The Red Bull “copycat” bandwagon is in full swing even though we have only seen 33% of the car.

If they have pull rod, then touche. But going pull rod will give you packaging benefits(Centre of Gravity) and with more weight this year(higher standard minimum mass) it makes sense to place all the gubbins lower in the car.

Pull rod gives you a very slight improvement in that area. So can you blame Mercedes if indeed it is the way forward?

Not I.


With the higher standard minimum mass this year, there would be _less_ reason for the pull rod in relation to the lower center of gravity for it’s parts.

They have more ballast this year to put down low in the car. Not that this will be that much in the end, with kers taking up lots of weight.


You would be right to say there is less reason. But reason there still remains to go pullrod. Getting the gearbox lower, gives you better CofG.

And the offical unveiling now confirms Mercedes have looked at lowering the innards of the W02 by going pullrod 😉


Due to the various other reasons, I’m not surprised that they have gone pull-rod.

They are copy cats on red bull though, as are most of the field.

As they should.


especially the sidepods and end plates!


McLaren’s high nose design seems to have been adapted by everyone so far. Ferrari’s is especially McLaren esque

Jeremy (CapeTown - SA)

Can’t wait for Mclaren’s launch!!


Looks like a fair step on last year’s car


Let’s hope this car will spoil us with epic Schumacher – Alonso battles.


Just like the good old days huh..


With Alonso winning all over again.


Yep biz as usual for kids. “Oh my fav driver is better than yours” kinda thing.



I think you’ve bene tricked. This is a Reb Bull with the Mercedes colours photoshopped… 😉


Yup, it looks like heavily airbrushed. I should wait till Tuesday.


Well it came from Mercedes and like I said, it is a ‘teaser’


That actually looks silver, as opposed to last year’s bland grey.


I agree.

Mclarens new team wear is not longer a silver grey colour too which is evidence of less mercedes support.

I suspect they may have a Virgin like livery for 2011 with black being a more prominent colour


I bet they stick with silver.


I would like to see Nico excell in this car! [mod]


Good to see everyone jumping on the Red Bull copy bandwagon without knowing anything really about the car! The front wing actually looks the same as last years W01 from last year – which I understand Ferrari did on there launch car catching out some people.


most teams will use last years front wing, or at least an evolution of it for testing.

the real aero packages are brought out for the last test, or even the first race if they’re feeling confident!


Just hope and pray that Michael Schumacher can win some races with this car. I really want to see that podium jump one more time!


Same here, I think it will come 🙂


No thanks.


Well I am not personally asking who is your favorite driver and who you don’t like. [mod}


Looks like an ad for Petronas, is all.

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