The F1 lineup differences that separated Hamilton and Russell in Brazil


But the 1-2 finish at the Brazilian Grand Prix is ​​testament to how relentless it has been in the pursuit of performance all season.

Although there have been times when it has been in a development or a cul-de-sac, it has worked diligently to get the answers needed to take the W13 to the front of the grid.

While there have been some rough moments this year, the experience should also serve it well for seasons to come as the team now has some knowledge and understanding that some of its rivals may not be up to speed on the intricacies of the new generation of off-road vehicles. effect cars.

A theme that has been ever present this year is that the drivers run different aerodynamic setups to find the balance they prefer – which has continued from the start of practice in Brazil.

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Lewis Hamilton’s W13 was fitted with a lower downforce configuration during FP1, as the rear wing had an upper flap with the trailing edge trimmed back (lower left).

Mercedes W13 rear wing comparison FP1

Photo by: uncredited

The roster changed a bit as qualifying approached with both drivers wearing the same top flap. However, Hamilton chose not to run the trailing edge of the Gurney, which was attached to George Russell’s rear wing (main image, blue arrow).

This was likely in response to the different solutions used on the top rear corner of the endplate, as Russell used a more traditional cutout, while Hamilton used the full-wrap variant.

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The changes are testament to Mercedes’ modular design approach this season, which has reduced the number of wings to be manufactured, helping with costs. It also shortens the time when changing settings because the parts are easily interchangeable.

For example, the rear corner of the endplate can be changed without having to change the entire assembly (main image, inset).

Mercedes W13 braking fin

Mercedes W13 braking fin

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes also continues to pursue interesting and new solutions that cannot be found anywhere else on the grid.

As seen above, the winglet in the upper forward quadrant of the rear brake channel gate has a micro-aerodynamic solution, as slots are cut into its surface to allow airflow to migrate between them.

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Red Bull looks to the future with spy cameras

Red Bull RB18 deflection measurement camera hill

Red Bull RB18 deflection measurement camera hill

Photo by: uncredited

For a brief period during FP1, Max Verstappen’s Red Bull RB18 wore a small pod on the forehead of its nose.

The pod, which appears to be 3D printed, has openings at both ends, with cameras mounted inside to capture images of the area next to it.

It is unclear whether these cameras focused on the suspension elements, the front brake channel deflector, the sidewall of the tire or a combination of these.

But it is interesting that the team feels it should follow suit, albeit briefly, as it continues to look for ways to improve performance towards 2023.