Bahrain Testing: Toto Wolff Denies Allegations of Illegal Mercedes Front Wing by Revealing FIA’s Involvement in Development

Published 02/21/2024, 7:51 AM EST

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via Imago

Mercedes‘ front wing has everyone’s attention. The bold wing has been the target of investigation as Toto Wolff denies allegations of it being illegal. In the new front wing for Mercedes, the team has creatively designed the fourth flap of their front wing, incorporating a legality wire to connect it to the nose. This design differs significantly from traditional approaches, potentially allowing the team to exploit loopholes within the regulations.

According to Auto Motor und Sport Magazine’s report, “The new front wing from Mercedes is also a topic in the press conference. There have been a few rumors that the mini flap solution might be illegal.” However, Toto Wolff has denied it, stating, “Everything that comes into the car comes about after an intensive exchange with the FIA.”


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It is still unclear if the FIA will give the design a green flag but the decision should be announced before the Bahrain GP. The new design of the front wing allows airflow to move from the front of the car, giving better cooling and air-supply to the engine. Mercedes’ comprehensive redesign of the W15’s front aerodynamics, including radical changes to the nose and front wing, demonstrates the team’s proactive approach to regaining a competitive advantage.

What are the current front-wing regulations?

In Formula 1, the regulations state that the front wing elements must be between five and 15 millimeters apart when they come together. This means that the distance between adjacent elements, measured at their closest point, must fall within this range. The spacing is crucial for controlling airflow over the wing and optimizing aerodynamic performance while ensuring compliance with the rules set by the FIA.

via Reuters

When viewed from above, the rear-most part of each front wing element, except for the one furthest back, must not be visible. This rule ensures that airflow over the wing remains smooth and uninterrupted, enhancing aerodynamic efficiency. This means that the different elements of a front wing should look like a set of stairs going down the step, overlapping each other when viewed from above.


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It’s basically a clever way of making the front wing have a much smaller area to it without needing to remove the final flap of the wing completely. However, there’s every chance the FIA will look into the matter anyway and ensure to close the loophole Mercedes appears to have exploited.


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That being said, do you think Mercedes will get away with this bold plan of theirs, and how will it really perform on the track? Let us know your thoughts on this below.

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Written by:

Viren Mirpuri


One take at a time

Viren Mirpuri is an F1 Writer at EssentiallySports. With a Degree in Mass Media and a Specialization in Journalism, Viren is known for his speedy race day coverage outside of discussing the engine technicalities. Whether he's dissecting the latest technical innovations or unraveling the drama on and off the track, he ensures that his readers stay engaged and informed.
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