Mercedes rocked up to the Circuit of the Americas meaning business, with a whole host of upgrades for the W13 in attendance, but not all of them made it on to the car for race day.
One part that never made it onto the track was their new front wing, after the FIA raised concerns about the legality of the wing, despite potential loopholes.
The innovative design has five fasteners on the wing which as designed the keep the sections of the wing the same distance, however they clearly look to be angled in such a way that their primary purpose would be to direct airflow, which is against the rules.
Mercedes chief technical director Mike Elliott has revealed that they did not run the wing because the benefit that it could bring would be so miniscule, it would not be worth the FIA finding it illegal.
“Personally, I think we could argue them,” Elliott said about the upgrades.
“But the question becomes whether we want to or not.
“The gain for those bits is so small, is it worth the risk of falling foul of the stewards?”
The team did manage to apply upgrades to the floor and rear wing without any interruption, however the FIA raised it’s concerns about the wing before it could even make it to practice.
“There’s fuss about it because in the regulations it talks about the primary use being for mechanical or measurement purposes and clearly there’s a secondary benefit of an aerodynamic design which is in there as well,” continued Elliott when quizzed about the wing.
“We’ll decide whether we want to argue that or not. Actually, it’s not worth a huge amount.”
Mercedes still have three races to alter the design of the wing to appease the FIA, should they decide to, with team principal Toto Wolff less willing to give up on the wing than his technical director.
Max Verstappen found himself having to fight Lewis Hamilton for the win last weekend for the first time this year, which will come as a reminder to the Dutchman that the seven-time world champion is not done yet.
Should the Silver Arrows provide him with a better car in 2023, he’ll be back challenging for the record breaking eighth title.