New Mercedes rear wing spotted at 2023 Bahrain GP

Mercedes were the slowest team in the speed traps during pre-season testing in Bahrain.

As expected, Mercedes are set to introduce a new rear wing at this weekend’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, after having run a large double spoon rear wing throughout pre-season testing.

Due to having run such a large rear wing last week during testing, Mercedes were the slowest team in the top speed charts, according to Auto Motor und Sport’s data.

Top speed was a huge issue for Mercedes last season, with the Germans having been a sitting duck when being hunted by either a Red Bull or Ferrari driver.

How much faster they’ll be down the straights this weekend with a medium downforce rear wing remains to be seen; however, it should be noted that Red Bull and Ferrari both ran the correct rear wing during pre-season testing last week at the Bahrain International Circuit.

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Mercedes technical director Mike Elliot confirmed on the final day of testing that the Brackley-based team hadn’t used the right rear wing, with the focus having been on gathering data.

“We were probably not wearing the wing we wear when we come racing,” Elliott told Sky Sports F1, as testing drew to a close.

“We’ve developed the car’s [aerodynamic] efficiency quite a lot over the winter,” he explained.

“Where we choose to run the race is about how we think is the best way to run the race. 

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“Obviously in testing, it’s just about trying to understand and so we’ve not done any work moving up and down in terms of downforce level. 

“We’ve kept it constant and tried to get all the data we can from the car to understand as much as we can and the issues we may face, and just build from there.”

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Mercedes’ medium downforce rear wing was spotted on the cars in the garage, as they prepare to see if they’ll be on a par with their rivals down the straights.

Seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton will be hoping for better straight-line speed this weekend, after having admitted during testing that the Germans “do have some pace to pick up in a straight line”. 

The likelihood is that Mercedes will be behind both Red Bull and Ferrari in Bahrain, but the big question is just how far will they be behind?