Mercedes have the pitlane talking on day one of pre-season testing in Bahrain after turning up with brand new machinery.
The team’s ‘out of the box’ design has sidepods that are nearly invisible on the completely different W13 car.
There had been suggestions leaving Barcelona a few weeks ago that the Brackley-based team would be applying several upgrades to the car, and today’s sighting prove that.
The new design also includes fins on the side of the car to improve airflow.
One team that will be keeping a hawks eye on the new W13 is Red Bull, but Chrisitan Horner told Sky Sports F1: “I haven’t paid a great deal of attention to the Mercedes.
“It’s obviously a fairly different concept, but that’s for the designer guys and aerodynamicists to get into.”
Asked whether there could be a protest, Horner added: “Let the guys digest it and understand it.”
However, F1 managing director Ross Brawn has since said Mercedes new look machinery maintains the objective of new rules.
“Some of the solutions quite honestly we never anticipated and I think we will go back in to investigate those solutions and make sure they maintain the objective of the new rules – I think they do,” he said.
“Our initial impressions are that there’s nothing here that we would be overly concerned about in terms of those objectives in the regulations.
“The regulators of the sport know what’s going on – I think they’re ok with it so far, but a team may come in and raise an objection that the FIA hadn’t considered, and then you have a problem.”