First glimpse of the new Mercedes F1 car shakedown at Silverstone
Posted By: James Allen  |  17 Feb 2012   |  5:17 pm GMT  |  101 comments

The car everyone is waiting to see is the new Mercedes, which will make its debut alongside its rivals at the Barcelona test next week.

Yesterday Mercedes shook it down at Silverstone and issued another “teaster” of the car, this time a video which gives little away about the nose of the car, but shows the concept of the main monocoque, which is very scooped out on top.

Red Bull design guru Adrian Newey suspects that this car may hold some design secret everyone will soon be copying, perhaps something to do with a front wing F Duct, perhaps another gizmo.

We’ll find out next week. Meanwhile see if you can spot anything here. If you do, post it below.

Featured News in mercedes
Share This:
Posted by:

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

Correction! in my mind at least anyway its the fact he beat Vettel in the same team in F3 went to DTM and dominated within 2 seasons whilst at the same time putting in impressive lap times in F1 practice to go on and do well with what he had in his 1st season with F1. This WILL be his telling season and i think he will raise eye brow’s.


Tantalizing, but of course that’s why they did it. I hope McLaren have the faster car in the majority of 2012 as I want to see Jenson and Lewis really battle it out for the championship, but I suspect it will all be really close. Red Bull will be strong no doubt, but wouldn’t it be great if the lead was continually changing from team to team to a cliff hanger at the end. Possible, but perhaps not probable.


there have been helmet cameras for absolutely ages in USA, youtube ‘indycar helmet cam’. They give absolutely amazing views – what could be better than seeing what the driver is seeing? I can’t think of any other televised sport where you can have this gift of sticking a camera on the head.

F1 is supposed to be this pinnacle, and yet something as simple as helmet cam technology hasn’t been implemented? its pathetic.

these shots of the mercedes, with a cam stuck on top of the helmet of nico – are stunning. they convey the violence and what the driver is doing, in HD.

its unbelievable that they are not standard cameras in f1.


Looking at the spy shot, is there a small air intake above the ‘S’ of Petronas? Ducting more airflow back to the rear wing?


Did you see the map of the circuit on the side of the cockpit. Useful to tell the driver which way to go


you guys should take a look at the sidepods. they are lower than the chassis, about 5-8cm. Apart from that, they seem to feature an undercut just like the toro rosso from last year.


Jose Teixido:

February 18th, 2012 at 2:00 am

I´m pretty sure that is what everybody

thought when this team was Brawn GP and look what happened.


Come on man, the Brawn fairytale story is well know among the F1 community.

Look, that team was competiting using a illegal device (at least not in the spirit of the rules) that was later banned & if you noticed ever since the ban came into effect, that team is no where so don’t expect any miracles unless of course, they have found another loophole.


it’s been pointed out many times that they weren’t the only team to use a double diffuser.


I think Brawn and Mercedes are a very decent team, fourth in the Championship. Should they be incompetent as you suggest, they should have been fighting Force India for places in the championship, after all, FI has a Mercedes engine.


Mercedes would have to come up with something really complicated for them to draw leverage from the so assumed breakthrough device, if it is easily copy-able then it was effort wasred for they already lost valuable information by missing the first test, true they ran a revised version of thier 2011 car, but in terms of the 2012 package they will be starting the next set of test from scratch. I hope for thier sake they got it right. Michael is undoubtedly the most supreme race car driver of them all, even at his age he is still menacing. Monza was one such race he was showing to everyone just how to tame an air headed brat (hamilton) thats why he didn’t offer any resistence to Button, instead made sure Hamilton understood just who the Daddy is in F1.

The only man who can tear apart Michael in a top car is Kimi amd he has proven so. So forsakes of the spectacle let Merc n’ Lotus some out Firat and the second best cars on the grid respectively, for enough of the Ferraris, Mclarens and the Redbulls.

Bring on the Fresh and let Dinos rest (Ferrari = T-rex Mclaren = Nano T-rex).


Just something to the comments regarding Helmet-Cameras.

The reason we don’t see them used more often is that its a surprisingly difficult shot to get right. Yes we see it a lot during testing but thats often teams sticking a GoPro unit on the helmet for a lap or 2 just to get some footage. The one in the video above is a GoPro-HD unit, Its about the size of your average handheld digital camera & in no way suitable for use over a race weekend.

During actual race weekends teams & drivers are funny about putting cameras on the helmets because they disturb the airflow, create a bit of drag & in some cases cause the helmet to move around more because of the drag.

The one they used last year was a tiny unit which was placed in an aerodynamicly shaped plastic cover, However they struggled to get a decent angle with it which is why it wasn’t used too often & why it was taken off Vettel’s helmet after Friday.

I said this before but its a shot thats surprisingly difficult to actually do, Thats why you hardly ever see them used.

In terms of where you could put them,

You can’t put them inside the helmet (As was done in CART) because of FIA safety regulations regarding how the helmets are put together (Can’t break the seals to run the cables through & there has to be a certain amount of padding etc….).

You can’t put them at the side of the helmet because the visor tear-off’s are in the way & because they can get knocked off by the driver leaning his head into the cockpit padding.

Your limited with putting them on top because there are 3 air vents which you can’t cover.

I know there are many who go on about just sticking a camera on there, it cant be that hard. Trust me you can’t stick any camera on there (Has to be small enough, has to be live broadcast capable & work with FOM’s OnBoard recievers).

To end, Its not something that isn’t done because FOM don’t want to do it. Helmet cameras are something FOM would like to do more of, Its just something thats never really fully worked out for a number of different reasons, Its not something we dont see through lack of want or trying.


very interesting posts, thank you!


“have you ever thought about putting 3D-cams on a car?”

They have been testing 3D onboard cameras occasionally in friday practice since early 2009.

here is an image of the 3D onboard unit on the rollbar, you can see its larger than a standard unit & can clearly see the 2 camera lenses –

The results as i gather were not that good, they also shot some footage with trackside 3D cameras & I gather they were far from impressive as well.

There was a media event at the canadian gp in 2010 where a lot of the 3D stuff was shown off to members of the media.

Several American categories such as nascar & indycar have also tried 3D (a nascar race at i think daytona was broadcast in 3d not long ago) & they also concluded that 3D does not work for Motorsport with current 3D technology.


Do you know why we don’t see the rear wing mounted cameras any more? I’m aware that one parted company from a Ferrari in 1995 and came in contact with the following car; however, these cameras were used again the following season (I recall seeing them on Barrichello’s Jordan several times throughout the 1996 season).

An excellent angle that really showed you how a car was working in terms of under and oversteer; a real shame it’s not used any more.


Yeah they were used post Monza ’95, However in 1996/1997 they were only rear facing.

One reason they stopped been forward facing was because of the high cockpit sides, Blocked the view of the driver & the shots we got after that were not as good.

The bigger reason though was again down to teams not liking us putting cameras in that location.

Its written in the technical regulations that teams have to provide camera mounts in 5 locations, These locations must have a camera or dummy camera installed all weekend –

Outside of those locations you have to work with teams & sometimes drivers to get them to agree to have a camera mounted wherever you want it.

I recall in 2000 we decided we wanted a camera mounted inside the cockpit looking at the drivers feet working the pedals. We had a unit small enough to work & a good mounting solution to ensure the unit wouldn’t fall off & get stuck under the pedals.

We coudn’t find a single team willing to let us run that shot for a couple races, Eventually Pedro de la rosa agreed to run it & we were then able to get agreement from Arrows, We were able to run it at Hungary, Spa & I think Monza before they stopped letting us run it.

I also recall us putting a camera in the side pod of Jenson Buttons car in 2004 at Monaco & Nurburgring. Team was happy for us to use it for those 2 races but not so keen on us putting it there again.

Its a shame FOM don’t get a bit more agreement from teams, Its also because of the affect it would have on aero or because a driver doesn’t like it or in some cases because the team/driver think it could fall off. There are a lot of angles that FOM want to try, They have some cameras which were put together in line to get a specific shot & never used because of this.

When I worked at FOM it frustrated me at times to hear fans critisising FOM for been uncreative with onboard cameras when we were actually been prevented from using more creative shots because of the teams lack of co-operation.


very interesting, thanks

have you ever thought about putting 3D-cams on a car?


Its upto the teams where the camera mounting point is so the location on the Benetton in 1994 would have been down to them.

Its the same now, The teams have to provide mounting points in certain areas but its totally upto them where the mounting point actually is.

Last year the mount on the side of the McLaren was very low down giving a similar problem –

Mercedes had the mounting point higher up –

The extra footage from Senna’s car leading upto the impact does not exist, The director did switch to Katayamas car, The video from Katayamas car has just never been used outside of the court case in Italy.

The way things worked back then is that the director only had 4 onboard feeds avaliable at any one time due to the restrictions of the system used at the time (Now there is 9 avaliable at any single time using the digital recievers). So the director handing the onboard cameras would constantly switch between the various cameras throughout a race.

I can ensure everyone that there is no big conspiracy at FOM surrounding the footage from Senna’s car, It just doesn’t exist.

As to why he made the decision to switch to Katayama’s car at that point, No idea?

I know that back then it wasn’t uncommon to switch to a japanese driver as Fuji tv had a deal in which they had access to the onboard shots off japanese drivers & use them over the world feed.


Well my apologies, I think I just did that very thing in comment 5. I stand corrected.

Very interesting to get an insight from someone who worked with FOM – it all seems very mysterious to the outsider. Perhaps you can indulge me in these answers that I’ve wondered about for a long time.

Some cameras seem oddly placed – for example the camera on the Benetton in 1994 seemed to point straight at the rear vision mirror, blocking the view. Did the team pick this location so the camera was in the wake of the mirror? Very frustrating for the viewers!

It was often said that footage from Senna’s during his accident did not exist because the director switched the feed to Katayamas Tyrrell at that exact moment. I’ve never seen the footage from the Tyrrell – does it exist?

Thanks again for your response – very interesting!


This comment has nothing to do with car spotting, my apologies. What surprises me most is the lack of leg movement – it seems to me that the seat goes all the way under the knees and thus all foot work is done mostly from the ankle down. So F1 drivers must have also very strong ankles as well as strong wrists, am I right?


Probably a lot to do with the fact there is no longer a clutch pedal there so the legs do not have to transfer position due to left foot braking all the time, same as if you watch Karting without gear change there little movement there too.


Maybe they all have biger left legs (calf muscles etc) & smaller right legs hahaha, my theory being that it must take more effort to operate the brake pedal repeatedly & braking from full speed than to simply squeeze the ‘fly by wire’ throttle to the point you want it to be at.


The engine cover looks like it incorporates a mini sharkfin??


Hi James, right at the start of the video at about the 3rd second seems to be the nose with a pretty hole / inlet of sorts. It really looks like the front wing and not the standard inlet that is usually above the drivers head. Also the merc badge makes me think it is the nose.

It seems quite large compared to the small hole on say the Ferrari .

What do you think?


Feeding a front wing F Duct, probably


I don’t follow. The rear wing F-duct worked by stalling the wing down the straights, thereby reducing drag. The front wing, we’ve been told (?), doesn’t produce nearly as much drag, partly due to its size but mainly because of everything else that is immediately behind it…

I guess what I’m asking is, just how effective can a front-wing F-duct really be? Or, what I am missing??


front wing may not produce much drag but what about that entire car behind it! To create a low pressure solution to stop the air attaching itself over the front of the car at high speed would definately be of benefit, not to mention very tricky to pull off effectively. That being said, again I really thought that front f-ducts were flat banned for this year?


what about air duct intakes beside the monocoque. See link:


Those are ‘side-pods’, is that what u mean? o_O




Sounds like it’s definitely got an exhaust… 😉


Well it’s err…… Silver, and the steering wheel has more gizmo’s than my wife Microwave kettle come dishwasher (I don’t do Kitchens that well!) and the kids X-crate gaming thingamabob combined.


Reckon its going to be a mover! Bet Di Resta is licking his lips for next season. 🙂


But where will Rosberg go then?


Who said Rosberg would be going anywhere? i certainly doubt Mercedes would want to see him go anywhere BUT the musical chairs at the seasons end are always interesting. I can see a possible 7 or 8 different drivers in the Ferrari no2 seat next season for one. And unlikely as it is but lets say the Ferrari does turn out to be a dog this season if so i would question where Alonso would be depending on the performance of other teams.

To define my thoughts at this point Schumi’s seats IS earmarked for Di Resta at this point BUT so much could change inc possible more attractive options for him as usual so much factors inc his own performance this season.


You really believe that don’t you?

Rosberg is not team leader material yet, and di Resta is even less capable in that department. Then there’s the Hulkenberg question – he has already got a pole under his belt, and more than proved himself in his rookie year… and his nationality is most definitly a factor.

I predict that when Schumacher is ready to move on to greater things like driving a desk, a team, or his wife to the shops while making cheesy Mercedes commercials, Rosberg will take on the team leader role, and Hulkenberg will fit into second driver.

As for Di Resta? I’m imagining he will be a successor to Button when he choses to leave Mclaren. But there’s another option. Force India isn’t a bad team to be in – midfield sure, but they have plenty of money and resources. Sutil simply wasn’t bothered, and with him gone, both Force India drivers will want to stamp their authority and fight to be the team leader. Perhaps one of them will be inticed to stay in a team with potential for better things.


Wait and see guys, of course unless he impresses with the other attractive 3 otherwise that seats his mark my words.


Can’t see Di Resta getting that seat anytime soon. A decent driver at best who is in the very early stages of his development in F1. All this hype around him is mainly down to the British media (primarly the BBC)


Correction! he beat vettel fair and square in f3 with the same team in 06 went on do dominate/win DTM within 2 seasons after that with the best touring car drivers in the world and some well accomplished F1 drivers there too! while at the same time on alternative weekends bumping in impressive lap times on fri practice in F1 often beating current F1 drivers from that team to now just done a pretty good 1st overall season with a middle pack team!

This WILL be a very telling season for him i reckon he is going to raise quite a few eye brows.


Why would do resta be lickn his lips I can’t see him replacing ms or nr I think they already have one of the best driver lineups on the grid and would be foolish to replace them with di resta unless of course ms retires but I can’t see that happening any time soon


I really really don’t get the Di Resta hype. If the car is good and a front running contender, Mercedes have already said they wish to keep Schumi.


I wouldn’t be surprised if Merc have a cracking car this season and I think it will shock everyone how good it’s going to be

rob in victoria bc

Didn’t see him adjust anything in the cockpit, so if there’s a front F-duct, maybe it’s foot operated. I love the eye-view camera, like to see it in the races.


The supposed F Duct is a passive system so you wouldn’t see the driver operate anything.


Or maybe they didn’t want to give away their game just yet… Didn’t I read somewhere that front F-ducts or the driver cooling hole being used for anything other than driver coolingin 2012 was banned?


Just hope they’ve got it right : )


Helmet cams are great. I wish they would force every driver to have one. I think it would make the coverage better. I know some people complain that the image is to jittery because of the vibration. I don’t mind that though. the drivers are being battered around and it’s good to convey that.

OK so there are helmet cams, but now we have the introduction of something new. …The Groin Cam! Interesting innovation there Mercedes. 😉

(yes I know it’s on his stomach)


Wouldnt it be great if the FIA put helmet cams on for the races!?

Great drivers eye view, the one from the chest is enlightening, I didn’t realise how close and how high the legs are positioned


It’s hard to tell anything related to the front wing from this footage, but I guess it’s something to do with a front wing f-duct that activates automatically without driver input.

I seem to recall they tried that out last year, Japan GP perhaps?


One thing interests me, what exactly constitutes as ‘testing’, here the new Mercedes can be seen driving around the track, is this not testing?

What exactly is the rules, is there a lap limit? Or is it simply they are only allowed to use tyres that bear no relation to those in use throughout the season, making testing with them mostly useless?


Read above, that’s been asked & answered about 20 times already 😉

Top Tags
SEARCH Mercedes