Floors have been the subject of much interest this season, with the regulations mandating changes to their design in order to cut downforce levels, but teams will have worked to redevelop this area with the intention of clawing back as much of that loss as possible.
Whilst some teams showed off their floors at their launch events, a few hid theirs with Mercedes going to extra lengths by adding black covers, prompting rumours they may have found an advantage.
On Friday, as cars hit the track for the first time during pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit, Mercedes’ floor was revealed with an intricate design behind the bargeboards.
At the rear of the car, just ahead of the rear tyre were the surface area of the floor has been cut diagonally, Mercedes has added some flow diverters which appear to channel air to the inside of the wheel and brake ducts. However these are more familiar and feature on several other 2021 F1 cars.
The team’s start to testing didn’t get off on the best foot though, as Valtteri Bottas’ running was curtailed after just a single lap with a gearbox issue.
“We have a gearbox problem and are swapping the gearbox to get back out on track, then will diagnose the problem with the original ‘box,” a Mercedes spokesperson confirmed to MotorsportWeek.com.
Bottas failed to set a time at the time of writing, over 90 minutes into the session. You can follow testing live here.