Mercedes’ Bahrain upgrade rumoured to bring “one second per lap extra”

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Rumours are swirling around that Mercedes is bringing a “significat upgrade” to pre-season testing in Bahrain, and this might include a car with no sidepods!

As we approach the final three days of pre-season testing, rumours are swirling around that Mercedes has prepared a significant upgrade for the W13.

In their recent look at the final three days of pre-season testing, Sky Sports reported that it might even bring an extra second per lap.

“Due to it being the final test as well as the venue for the opening race in just over a week, teams are expected to bring more advanced packages to Bahrain this week, which should give us a better idea of who is leading the way,” wrote Sky’s Matt Morlidge.

“And there are rumours swirling that Mercedes may be bringing a significant upgrade to the desert, possibly even one that gives them around one second per lap extra.”

Italian publication Corriere dello Sport reported earlier that Mercedes might reveal radical new design elements, including a different position for the radiators, leaving the car with no sidepods.

“It would be a car almost completely devoid of sides, the disappearance of which would have involved an imaginative but effective arrangement of the radiators, in the highest area of ​​the bodywork,” Giorgio Terruzzi wrote.

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The report also says this new solution has been “impressive” in the simulator, adding around a second a lap to the car’s performance.

Furthermore, it is said that this innovation is already “disturbing” rival teams and causing “more than one team principal to be alarmed”.

The report also adds that Mercedes has asked for “substantial clarifications” from the FIA before proceeding with the construction of this “B version” of the W13.

If Mercedes really does introduce this radical new version of their car, it remains to be seen if it will trigger protests from other teams, or any questions from the FIA, who have said that they will intervene if an innovation clashes with the ‘spirit of the new regulations’.

Mercedes has not said much about their planned Bahrain upgrades, aside from a short statement relayed by Auto Motor und Sport.

“Everyone flies to Bahrain with new parts,” the spokesperson said.

“The biggest upgrades are usually the ones you can see from the outside.”

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