Mercedes opted to run a large double spoon rear wing throughout pre-season testing in Bahrain last week for better correlation and data collection.
The decision explained why Mercedes featured so lowly in the speed traps across the three days of running, with the German manufacturer placed at the very bottom of the collective top speed charts, according to Auto Motor und Sport’s data.
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Mercedes technical director Mike Elliott suggested the team would bring a different rear wing configuration to the opening race.
“We were probably not wearing the wing we wear when we come racing,” Elliott said on the final day of testing.
The new rear wing was pictured in the Mercedes garage as preparations got underway on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s season opener.
The single scoop design will create less downforce and drag and should provide Mercedes with a straightline speed boost.
Lewis Hamilton pinpointed straightline speed as an area for Mercedes to improve after pre-season testing, with the seven-time world champion admitting his team “do have some pace to pick up in a straight line”.
Hamilton and teammate George Russell will be hoping the new rear wing can help bring Mercedes closer to rivals Red Bull and Ferrari.
Mercedes are looking to bounce back from a torrid 2022 campaign but Hamilton conceded his side have a “mountain to climb” after a mixed pre-season test.