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I'm Matthew Somerfield, a freelance journalist focused on the technical elements of Formula One. It has been a pleasure to provide content via this site for the last 5 years, which has led me to several paid freelancing jobs along the way. I'm currently plying my trade with Motorsport.com and working alongside the legend that is Giorgio Piola.

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28 Jan 2014

The first day of 2014 testing came to an abrupt end for Mercedes as the car carrered off the circuit at the hands of Lewis Hamilton in turn 1, after completing several laps of Jerez.

The failure was reminiscent of what happened to Hamilton at the circuit last season. The cause of the failure has yet to be firmly ascertained but from looking at the images at the circuit it seems the connecting pylons failed, turning the car into an uncontrollable sled as the front wing lodged itself under the front wheels.


The connecting pylons that failed are the much narrower sections at the base of the connection between the nose and wing. The pylons are only permitted to be 25mm wide whereas the wider section above this is Mercedes way of circumnavigating the new nose regs. One of those wider sections is actually 50mm longer than the other and a vanity panel replicates the symmetry on the other side. Full analysis of the car/nose here: http://somersf1.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/mercedes-amg-wo5-technical-launch.html?m=1

With one or both of the thinner pylons having likely failed under braking the nose will have twisted as it ripped the vanity panel away from the crash structure and folded the whole structure under the car.


It would appear that the front of the front impact structure sheared off (one of the teeth) which is good in some ways but just goes to show the mockery the teams make of the rules.

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2 comments:

  1. How crazy is this raw footage?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guc2-x7dGnA

    Props to the Spanish presenter, who mostly keeps her cool as Hamilton's front wing falls off - she's talking about how we all have to get used to not just the noses, but the new power units, a challenge for the drivers and the teams, but also for "us" (nosotros - the media?) we have to get used to [talking about, I assume]... then she chirps for a sec (oiui! it sounds like) and starts commentating: accident! accident! Lewis Hamilton, he hits the wall - first accident of the day [what, she was expecting more?! lol]"...

    I would much rather this woman present (in Spanish) the BBC coverage than have to listen to Suzi Perry do it in English lol...

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  2. Matt, can you explain more about the asymettry of the Mercedes nose and clarify the vanity panel? I'm tech-illiterate and don't understand what you wrote here:

    "The nose has been made with 2 hanging pylons in order to meet the 185mm nose tip height and 9000mm2 cross section at 50mm behind the tip regulations, with one side longer than the other but the opposing shorter side flanked by a Vanity Panel."

    If you have a chance and could mark a photo w/ where the v.p. is that'd be great. I'm turning off my adblocker now...done! (ABP "disabled on this site"!)

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