Adrian Newey spots an ‘interesting’ innovation on Mercedes W15

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton behind the wheel of the Mercedes W15 at Silverstone.

Lewis Hamilton says the 'dream' is helping Mercedes return to the top of F1.

Adrian Newey has reportedly stated there’s one innovation on the new-look Mercedes W15 that he finds “interesting”, but what exactly that is he didn’t say.

After two years of struggling with their ground-effect aerodynamic cars, Mercedes failing to win a single Grand Prix last season, the Brackley squad has put an almost completely new car on the track this season.

Almost immediately it was the W15’s radical front-wing legality trickery that caught the eye.

Adrian Newey will be taking a closer look at the W15

The car features a front wing that connects to the nose at the second flap and the fourth flap with what looks to be a legality wire.

Questions were raised about the legality of the design, at the very least the spirit of how the rule was intended.

And it could be the part that has Red Bull design guru Newey looking a lot closer at the W15.

According to the BBC’s Andrew Benson, “Newey said at his car’s launch that there was an innovation on the Mercedes that he found “interesting” although he would not reveal what it was. The suspicion is that he was referring to the front wing design.”

The design, though, has reportedly been given the green light by the FIA. recommends

F1 2024 entry fees: Huge cost behind Red Bull’s mighty season now revealed

F1 schedule: When is the next F1 race and where is it being held?

According to “Insiders from two teams have confirmed there appears little reason for the W15 front wing to be deemed illegal” with the front wing design receiving “the green light from the FIA”.

It’s article 3.9.1 of the technical regulations that permits the Mercedes design as it only focuses on the design of the flaps.

“The rearmost point of every closed section must be visible when viewed from below,” it reads, and “with the exception of the rearmost closed section, the rearmost point of every closed section must not be visible when viewed from above.”

Toto Wolff is hoping this season’s W15 allows Lewis Hamilton and George Russell to close the gap on last year’s runaway championship winners, Red Bull.

“We were in a tough fight last season with Ferrari and McLaren, at times Aston Martin, with a big gap between Red Bull and the rest. I would hope we are in the chasing pack at the beginning of the season and hopefully a step closer to Red Bull,” he said.

The W15 is in action at the Sakhir circuit on Wednesday with George Russell driving the car on the opening day of testing.

Read next: Mercedes warned of facing ‘downward spiral’ in W15 performance prediction