If next week teams and drivers will give their farewell to the 2019 F1 championship by running in the post-season testing, most of the time is going to be spent analyzing the new 2020 Pirelli tyres.
Mercedes and Ferrari have therefore decided to go for an on-track study of some new components by running them during the Abu Dhabi’s Friday.
Let’s start with the Silver Arrows: after power-unit failure in Interlagos for Valtteri Bottas, the #77 Mercedes came to Abu Dhabi with a new engine. The team took advantage from misfortune by implementing some new componets in the PU likely, but not officially, to test them ahead of the 2020 season. What’s the 2019 latest spec could indeed be the base for next year’s power unit.
Another interesting implementation has been the usage of a new front wing displaying an out-wash philosophy. Initially runned with bad results by Alfa Romeo and Ferrari, this solution started to perform on the Maranello cars after mid-season updates. The key concept is a dropping flap close to the endplate that forces the air-flow around the front tyres. This season out-wash wings have been outperformed by the Mercedes’ ones, still the Silver Arrows didn’t want to leave anything untested.
In the near-by box, the red painted one, Ferrari has tested two different exhaust solutions, one for each practice session. During FP1 the Maranello-based team put its upper exhausts alongside each other, ‘copying’ the Red Bull’s concept. In FP2 they went back to the vertical geometry they have been running all season long.
Scuderia’s rear-view mirrors have been slightly modified as well, now being wider and a bit further away from the cockpit.
There’s no such thing as winter break for the Formula 1 engineers and the end of a season means the immediate start of the following one.