Mercedes’ Formula 1 car passes FIA crash tests

Mercedes AMG PETRONAS have confirmed that their 2016 car has passed the FIA’s tougher crash tests, becoming the latest Formula 1 team to announce.

To comply with a new requirement for improved driver head protection, Mercedes have recently had to do a lot of work. Leading to a significant increase in the forces that the side of the cockpit must withstand.

“It is a very significant increase,” said Mercedes executive director Paddy Lowe in a video released by the Brackley-based team. “It is five tonnes of load that the chassis has to take sideways.

“It is intended to significantly increase the protection for the drivers should major pieces of debris, including a whole car, arrive at this point [of the cockpit].

“It has been a big job for the people concerned with designing chassis, because it is a very significant load increase.”

The news follows Scuderia Toro Rosso announcing their STR11 passed the crash tests on Wednesday ahead of the start of pre-season testing. Toro Rosso’s 2016 car has been rumoured to include a Mercedes-style short nose, being powered by Ferrari engines and featuring a longer wheelbase.

Max Verstappen believes the new features will help his team to gain a full second compared to last year, “It will be between eight tenths and a second, which is, of course, a lot”