With main rival Red Bull appearing to have closed in recently, Mercedes responded to the potential threat with a raft of changes that have further improved the W11 and optimised it for low-downforce circuits.
Mercedes F1 W11 fins comparison
Starting at the front of the car, the L-shaped fins beside the ‘S’ duct outlet, which Mercedes was one of the first teams to adopt, have until now remained largely unchanged.
However, as part of its Spa upgrade package, these fins have now had their height increased slightly, their surface lengthened and their overall shape sculpted. The design is now much more reminiscent of that used by Red Bull.
Meanwhile, the chassis fin that’s already seen some attention this season, has also been altered slightly to coincide with the change ahead, and the consequential effect that has on the airflow it receives.
Mercedes F1 W11 rear wing detail British GP
Mercedes F1 W11 rear comparison
The single pillar rear wing design has also made a triumphant return, having last been seen at Silverstone.
To give an idea of how much downforce the team has trimmed off in search of a drag reduction here is a side-by-side comparison of the wing used in Austria.
This image is also handy for us to compare cooling packages, as whilst you might expect Mercedes to use as small a rear opening as possible at Spa, in order to limit the amount of drag being generated, the engineers are also wary of the performance and lifespan implications of running the powerunit almost flat-out for the extended periods of time needed around this circuit.
As we can see, the shape and height of the sidepods and the terminating cooling outlet is actually similar, if not the same, to the one already used in Austria too.