Mercedes technical director James Allison has been focused on completely revamping the team’s F1 challenger, acknowledging that their prior design seemed not to provide the intended results. Team leader, Toto Wolff, made known late last year that the team was leaving no stone unturned in their attempt to regain their dominance at the front of the grid.
Drawing from Wolff’s remarks, he highlighted that virtually every component was subjected to change. “There’s almost every component that’s being changed because only by doing that, I think we have a chance,” he asserted.
The full scale of Mercedes‘ modifications may not be entirely apparent until Wednesday and possibly may remain unclear even during tests. Nonetheless, there has been affirmation of a particular new trajectory for their design due to features seen on Aston Martin‘s AMR24.
It is important to note that Aston Martin is a consumer of Mercedes‘ gearbox and rear suspension technology, thus, its vehicle architecture is bound to match that of the German automaker. Hence with the unveiling of the new AMR24 and the noticeable shift to a push-rod rear suspension, it casts a spotlight on what Mercedes likely mirrors.
Aston Martin‘s technical director, Dan Fallows, clarified this in his remark: “We’ve inherited new suspension from Mercedes. They give us the gearbox and the structure of the rear suspension, so that has changed slightly from last year as well. So, there’s a change on the rear, but on the front it’s very similar.”
In the previous season, Mercedes and Ferrari were the sole automakers to adopt a pull-rod rear suspension, extending this design choice to their respective customer teams due to the implications on gearbox design. However, the push-rod rear suspension as used by Red Bull seems to have gained more traction as a preferred option.
From a weight and center-of-gravity perspective, having the inboard suspension components elevated with a push-rod design may not present the best option. Yet, raising these components creates additional space for improved airflow manipulation within the coke bottle region and diffuser area which could enhance downforce and augment the efficiency of the floor and rear wing.
Williams, which also utilizes Mercedes components, will follow suit in terms of the suspension approach. The team’s principal, James Vowles, pointed out during his team’s 2024 season launch, that there will be some exciting changes relating to the rear suspension. He indicated, “In terms of the rear suspension, there’s bits that we’re happy to talk about… But I’m going to save it for Bahrain, because there’s some interesting things to talk about where we’ve gone on rear suspension.”