2017 marks the beginning of an exciting new technical era for Formula One. It’s out with the old and in with the new as F1 experiences its biggest rules shake-up since 2009. The V6 Hybrid Turbos introduced in 2014 stay, but the F1 cars of 2017 are very new beasts to look at compared to their 2016 predecessors.

These new regulations are set to put the sexy back into F1, creating faster and more aggressive looking Grand Prix cars. This year’s cars could be anywhere up to five seconds a lap faster, thanks to the revised bodywork and wider tyres.

First, it’s crucial to address the new tyres for 2017. With loads at high speed expected to be 20 – 25% higher than under the previous regulation set, the front tyres have increased from a 245mm wide tread in 2016 to 305mm for 2017, while the rears have grown from 325mm wide to 405mm.

A wider contact patch – the part of the tyre which sits on the race track – will provide improved grip, whilst crucially also reducing overheating. The real benefit of this latter point is that the drivers can push harder for longer on the 2017 tyres, meaning we expect to see less tyre management in the race.

However, these wider tyres will produce a greater wake, influencing the air flow behind them, and putting an increased focus on the aerodynamics at the front of this year’s cars.

Now, onto aero… The first thing that stands out when you look at the 2017 cars is the striking delta-shape front wings. Increased from a span of 1650mm to 1800mm, these swept-plane front wings, arrow-like in their design, are mandated across all cars this season and are designed to make the cars look quicker visually.

Aesthetics aside, however, the aerodynamic interaction between the front wing and the tyres is critically important, one of the many things which teams absolutely have to get right.

Next, let’s address the beefed-up bodywork of the 2017 cars. For 2017, the width of the car increases from 1,800mm to 2,000mm, returning them to their pre-1998 dimensions. In short, this year’s new cars will be wider, to go along with the fatter 2017 tyres.

This change is not merely aesthetic, though. A wider car, and thus floor, means more air is channelled under the car, generating downforce gains and quicker lap times in 2017.

The T-Tray – the leading edge of the underside of the car, seen under the nose – is shorter this year, with the leading edge of the plank - that super-high-tech wood-like component that runs the length of the floor under an F1 car - moving backwards by 100mm. That doesn’t sound like an awful lot but, because of the rake angle of the car, with the rear sitting higher than the front, this will allow teams to lower the car and push for even greater aerodynamic performance.

Bargeboards, which sit in front of the sidepods, are much longer for 2017, with the rules relaxed to allow designers to clear up the airflow around the front of the cars, although any bodywork immediately behind the front wheels is still strictly off limits.

Looking at the rear of the 2017 cars and the diffuser is another point where the 2017 F1 beasts will differ radically from their immediate predecessors. The diffuser, which channels air under the car, is wider – up to 1050mm from 1000mm - and higher too – from 125mm to 175mm. The starting edge of the diffuser – where it kicks up – also moves forward, to give greater performance opportunity.

Like with the front wing, the rear wing shape is also dramatically different this year. The width increases from 750mm to 950mm, with the height cut from 950mm to a maximum of 800mm, creating a lower, swept-back looking profile. Working in harmony with the re-profiled 2017 diffuser, the new-look rear wings will add efficient downforce and performance to the car, increasing cornering speeds this year.

Expect cars to be faster, drivers to be worked harder, and for lap records to tumble throughout the year. We can’t wait! Get your first look at our 2017 F1 challenger on Thursday, 23 February, right here on MercedesAMGF1.com!

DTM Backstage: Mario Skobowsky

At top speed via the data highway

Error messages and computer crashes.

We’re all familiar with the following scenario, aren’t we? Just one more important e-mail to quickly send, and then suddenly, disaster strikes: ‘Blue Screen’, error messages and a whole string of computer crashes. Not even DTM teams are safe from computer glitches, but the Mercedes-AMG DTM Team has an effective weapon to combat intractable IT problems – systems administrator Mario Skobowsky (34). “The biggest challenge is to make the infrastructure so stable that nobody realises that IT is there at all,” says Mario, revealing the secret of his success. “That’s how it is in normal life. Nobody ever calls us to say that yes, their computer is working, thank you. People only call when it stops functioning. And that’s just how it has to be at the racetrack. If nobody gets in touch, then everything’s fine.”

Mario is in charge of all cabling, computers and data connections at the DTM racetrack. In order to network the whole of the paddock, he has to install from 500 to 700 meters of cable each race weekend. He also supervises all of the team’s computer equipment. “I have to look after all the laptops that are required,” says Mario.

Race Base is hub of the whole operation.

“And not just those needed by the mechanics and data engineers, but also laptops belonging to members of the board and other people.” Between 30 and 35 gigabytes of data will be ‘consumed’ during a race weekend depending on exactly how long the cars are out on track. For two years now, the team have used fully networked workstations and meeting rooms in the Race Base which is connected to the pits. “It’s ultimately the hub of the whole operation,” explains Mario. The server system is integrated into the Race Base and connected to the engineers’ workstations in the pits as well as to the pit wall by means of fibre optics. The entire system is portable and available for every race, so, it makes very little difference whether the race is in Hockenheim or Moscow. “It just takes a bit longer to get to Moscow,” says Mario with a chuckle. He might have to contact a couple of folk beforehand to clarify matters regarding cabling. “But otherwise, the procedure is identical.”

No server failure so far.

The team have not suffered from server failure so far. “But we did have one instance of the timing signal (external supplier) dropping out completely ten minutes before the start of the race, and there were no data streams.” That was the fault of the weather. “So, our people were left without any information about where the car was on the track, what position it was in and what lap time it had just posted.”

In such an emergency, everyone pulls together to find a speedy solution and helps each other out as best they can. For Mario, that’s another reason why working at the track is so exciting and special.

Motor racing is a team sport.

“We’ve only a small role to play, as it’s mainly down to the drivers and engineers. We’re just a small cog in a big wheel, but if that cog stops working, then the wheel falls off,” says Mario. Motor racing is a team sport. “And the commitment on the part of everyone, the fact that we all pull together, that enables us to always go about our work with a smile on our faces.” By the way, Mario even has the motor racing bug outside of the DTM: “For nearly ten years, I used to go regularly to watch MotoGP at the Sachsenring. Now, if time allows, I like to go with my son to GT3 races or to motocross meetings, and sometimes even to Red Bull Air Race events.” That way, Mario can relax for a change and enjoy a race without having to deal with any pressing emergencies.

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  • Mercedes-AMG and Cigarette Racing celebrate 10 years of collaboration by unveiling the stunning new 2017 50’ Marauder AMG inspired by the Mercedes-AMG GT R.

    50’ Marauder AMG: Inspired by the Mercedes-AMG GT R.

    “One racing icon has inspired another.”

    Fuel consumption combined: 11.4 l/100 km;

    combined CO₂ emissions: 259 g/km.*

    True pioneers in their segments.

    Mercedes-AMG and Cigarette Racing set new benchmarks by presenting the Cigarette Racing Team 50’ Marauder AMG boat inspired by the breathtaking Mercedes-AMG GT R. The two legendary performance brands are proud to celebrate 10 years of collaboration with this awe-inspiring new boat unveiled at the Miami International Boat Show. From the intelligent lightweight construction to the wealth of innovations, the Mercedes-AMG GT R and the 2017 50’ Marauder AMG are true pioneers in their respective segments.

    Mercedes-AMG and Cigarette Racing set new benchmarks by presenting the Cigarette Racing Team 50’ Marauder AMG boat inspired by the breathtaking Mercedes-AMG GT R.
    From the intelligent lightweight construction to the wealth of innovations, the Mercedes-AMG GT R and the 2017 50’ Marauder AMG are True pioneers in their segments.

    Sporty layout in race-style.

    Carbon fibre was employed extensively in the design of the 2017 50’ Marauder AMG. In addition, the deck, cockpit and consoles were developed using advanced laminate analysis techniques and are all constructed from carbon fibre with a foam core. The engine hatch is also completely carbon fibre, employing vacuum infusion technology for its construction. The sporty cabin layout is race-style.

    Sporty layout in race-style.

    Carbon fibre was employed extensively in the design of the 2017 50’ Marauder AMG. In addition, the deck, cockpit and consoles were developed using advanced laminate analysis techniques and are all constructed from carbon fibre with a foam core. The engine hatch is also completely carbon fibre, employing vacuum infusion technology for its construction. The sporty cabin layout is race-style.

    From the intelligent lightweight construction to the wealth of innovations, the Mercedes-AMG GT R and the 2017 50’ Marauder AMG are True pioneers in their segments.

    Seats crafted by AMG Performance Studio.

    Stylistically, the Cigarette Racing Team enlisted Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer for Daimler AG, to design the paint and detailing. The interior seat inserts were crafted by the AMG Performance Studio with a unique and striking geometric pattern. To mark Mercedes-AMG’s 50th anniversary and commemorate the 10 year partnership with the Cigarette Racing Team, a special logo has been developed that is prominently displayed on the bow of the vessel.

    Stylistically, the Cigarette Racing Team enlisted Gorden Wagener. The interior seat inserts were crafted by the AMG Performance Studio with a unique and striking geometric pattern.
    Mercedes-AMG GT R and 2017 50’ Marauder AMG: One racing icon has inspired another.

    Combined design and performance.

    “The 2017 50’ Marauder AMG is a particularly striking result of our continued collaboration with the Cigarette Racing Team, and a fitting tribute to honour 10 years of working together,” said Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer for Daimler AG. “One racing icon has inspired another, and we are proud to continue to set the benchmark and seamlessly combine design and performance both on land and at sea.”

    Combined design and performance.

    “The 2017 50’ Marauder AMG is a particularly striking result of our continued collaboration with the Cigarette Racing Team, and a fitting tribute to honour 10 years of working together,” said Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer for Daimler AG. “One racing icon has inspired another, and we are proud to continue to set the benchmark and seamlessly combine design and performance both on land and at sea.”

    Mercedes-AMG GT R and 2017 50’ Marauder AMG: One racing icon has inspired another.

    Quality for enthusiasts.

    The distinctive Green Hell Magno paint details on the boat create an instant connection to the Mercedes-AMG GT R and the infamous “Nordschleife” of the Nurburgring. The unmistakable AMG Panamericana grille celebrated its standard-production premiere in the Mercedes-AMG GT R, with its 15 chrome-plated vertical fins inspired by the look of the new AMG GT3 race car and the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL that won the legendary Mexican road race “Panamericana” in 1952.

    Mercedes-AMG and Cigarette Racing began their collaboration partnership in 2007, primarily for organizing joint customer and marketing activities. Whether on land or water, Mercedes-AMG and Cigarette Racing are united by their focus on delivering the ultimate in performance. The boats feature custom-made, handcrafted quality for enthusiasts and are tested under the most extreme conditions.

    Mercedes-AMG and Cigarette Racing began their collaboration partnership in 2007, primarily for organizing joint customer and marketing activities.

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    More information.