In the 2018 Formula One Season, Mercedes brought a new rim design – featuring a series of holes on the wheel – that worked in conjunction with their hub designs to control rear tyre temperature management.
This stirred quite a controversy, with Ferrari questioning the legality of the design with the respect to the ‘movable aerodynamic device’ clause – a catch-all statement that has been amidst multiple FIA bans over the years.
Although the design was deemed legal by the FIA, Mercedes decided to refrain from using it in the final three races of the season, aware that a rival team could lodge a protest to get a defensive ruling.
According to the Italian version of motorsport.com, Adrian Newey, Red Bull Racing Formula One team’s Chief Technical Officer, has decided to operate the same solution on the RB15 for the 2019 Season.
Motorsport Italy reports that Red Bull (Adrian Newey) will use the Mercedes wheel rim solution (the controversial wheel rim holes that Mercedes used last year) on their 2019 car. Ferrari will not use the wheel rim solution, at least not at the start of the 2019 season#F1 pic.twitter.com/Dc9urv67Zd
— tami. (@Vetteleclerc) January 9, 2019
Amidst this, it can be safely assumed that with other teams also implementing this design, the Silver Arrows, having conquered the 2018 title, will not hesitate on implementing this change on a permanent basis in the upcoming season.
Now, while it is not quite known if the design significantly impacts race pace or performance, Mercedes did manage to get some oomph into their system.
Red Bull, with that new Honda engine at the back of the car is already expected to give both Ferrari and Mercedes a run for their money.
While reliability maybe an issue for Red Bull next year, Marko and Horner believe that they should have a significant rise in pace, thanks to the party mode that Honda are coming up with for the 2019 season.