Mercedes tipped to get call from FIA and face accusations their new F1 car is ‘illegal’

Mercedes unveiled their W15 F1 car this week with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in attendance.

Mercedes may come under fire for their avant-garde new front-wing design since F1 technical expert Craig Scarborough has suggested that the FIA will hold “discussions” with the Silver Arrows. With the straightforward goal of catching up to Red Bull, Toto Wolff and company have been working extremely hard during the off-season.

Ever since ground-effect design rules were implemented in 2022, Mercedes has lagged behind Red Bull. The ‘zero sidepod’ design proved difficult for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell to adjust to, and early in the previous season, Wolff acknowledged that the team would start playing differently.

Those predictions came true on Wednesday with the introduction of Mercedes’ brand-new Formula One vehicle, the W15, which at first glance seems to be considerably more traditional than their prior endeavors.

However, because of their “cheeky” front wing, which the most recent set of design regulations were intended to eradicate, rival cars may find it more difficult to follow Hamilton and Russell.

Scarborough said on Peter Windsor’s YouTube channel, “I call it the 3.1 wing, because it’s not a three-element wing and it’s not a four-element wing.” As far as I can tell from the regulations, it’s legal if you have roughly point one of a wing there.

“Although I’m sure the other teams have already considered and rejected these ideas, I believe the FIA, F1, and the teams will have a conversation about this and decide whether or not to allow outwash in the sport going forward. Have we not put a lot of effort into sorting out the issues with cars following each other?

Therefore, even though I don’t think it will significantly improve the W15’s performance, I do believe it will kind of catch people’s attention and start a conversation.

“As far as I can tell, it’s a cheeky, but legal, way of playing with the front wing, but I’m sure there will be some conspiracy theories and bits and pieces with people saying that it’s illegal.”

Red Bull dominated the Grand Prix last season, and neither Hamilton nor Russell were able to win any. In 2024, Mercedes manager Wolfgang Wolff will be under intense pressure to advance and establish a point before his star driver, Lewis Hamilton, leaves for Ferrari.

The current three-time world champion Max Verstappen thinks that because Hamilton’s Ferrari move was announced a year in advance, his long-term rival could be in for a “tough” season.

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