Mercedes receive FIA boost as Toto Wolff shares innovative front wing details

Thomas Maher
Mercedes on track in Bahrain, with George Russell at the wheel.

George Russell drives the Mercedes W15.

Toto Wolff has weighed in on the process Mercedes went through over the winter regarding their controversial front wing design.

Mercedes has raised eyebrows ahead of the 2024 Formula 1 season after the Brackley-based squad showed up with a front wing that sees the upper flap connected to the nose via a thin carbon sliver.

Detached wing elements were banned for 2022, but the use of the wire means the wing is conforming with the technical regulations – would the governing body see the design in the same light?

Toto Wolff: Front wing design follows a long process of FIA dialogue

Speaking in the FIA press conference on Wednesday in Bahrain, Wolff told media, including PlanetF1.com, that there are no question marks or fears back at Brackley that the front-wing design may be clamped down upon.

“I think what is being put on the car is always following an exchange with the FIA all through the process,” he said.

“There is no such thing of having a clever idea and bolting it on without checking.

“So there is a long process of dialogue over the winter, so I feel we are in an OK place.”

PlanetF1.com understands the FIA is fully satisfied with the design of Mercedes’ front wing, and no complaints have been lodged by any of the other teams.

Under the new ruleset introduced in 2022, F1 and the FIA can move to ban developments that are outside the ‘spirit’ of the regulations, if not the wording, should the development be deemed as damaging to the ability of pursuing cars to race.

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For instance, Aston Martin had their ‘armchair’ rear wing design, introduced in Hungary 2022, banned for ’23, for that reason – a fate Mercedes won’t have to worry about, having got the FIA’s blessing for this year.

With the W15’s front wing design attracting attention, it caught the eye of Sky F1 reporter Ted Kravitz as the car hit the track to begin testing.

“It is a genius move, so credit to John Owen the designer here who has come up with that bit of magic on the front wing,” he said.

“Hats off to their aero team. It’s such a lovely idea.”

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