‘Very intense’ and ‘exciting’ Mercedes W15 design analysed by ex-F1 driver

Henry Valantine
The Mercedes W15 caught the eye upon its launch.

Mercedes have taken a "unique" approach with the W15, according to Romain Grosjean.

Former Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean believes Mercedes have taken “very bold decisions” on the design of the W15, based on the launch photos made available by the team.

Beyond the former Haas and Lotus driver thinking the combined silver and black livery is the best in the field in 2024, the Frenchman took a closer look at the technical details of the car, and believes it is a “very unique” car compared to the rest of the field.

Mercedes head into the season off the back of their first winless season since 2011, while Lewis Hamilton hopes to sign off with the “greatest honour” of taking the team back to the top.

Romain Grosjean analyses ‘intense’ design decisions on Mercedes W15

Looking in particular at the front wing and sidepods on the W15, Grosjean said the “very, very loaded” nature of the front wing shows Mercedes’ faith in the rear downforce they have been able to generate in their car this year.

Alongside that, the change in sidepod philosophy and other external elements on show at the car’s launch showed that Mercedes are bringing a “unique” concept to the grid this year, according to the 10-time F1 podium finisher.

“I think it’s the most good-looking car. I’m glad to see the Silver Arrow back on the track,” Grosjean said in a video on his YouTube channel.

“I think it is the car, with the Red Bull, I’m the most intrigued to see on track.

“I think there’s some very bold moves. There are some very bold decisions made on the car. Look at that front wing and that big scoop. It does remind me a lot of the 2006 F1 cars that I used to be in love with… and then those sidepods.

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“They went for very small entry to get as much as much flow as they can under the sidepods.

“But I’m very excited about that front wing, very excited about that sidepod entry, the front wing design, with a lot of very different plate sizes, flap sizes.

“That front wing is very intense. Very, very loaded, so they must be very confident in the rear downforce because there’s one thing that is very easy to do in Formula 1, is create a lot of front downforce – you just put on a big front wing and you’re going to have all the downforce in the world you want.

“But every flow of air that hits a Formula 1 car hits the front wing first, so if the air doesn’t go exactly what you’re planning on getting it after it hits the front wing, you are not going to go anywhere – and that is a key element in every Formula 1 car.

“I must admit they are very, very intense choices on that car, and I’m excited to see what it does.

“I’m really hoping to see Mercedes back fighting at the front with Ferrari, with Red Bull, with Aston Martin, with McLaren, with anyone basically, I want everyone to be fighting.

“But I think in terms of everything we’ve seen, everyone seems to be quite conventional to the points that’s on a Mercedes that is very different and very unique.”

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