Inside Mercedes' unique plans to stay one step ahead of Formula One rivals

F1 Grand Prix of Spain - Practice

As they aim for another Drivers' and Constructors' Championship, Mercedes are taking on a unique approach to ensure Lewis Hamilton has the best opportunity of retaining his title.

The team behind Hamilton’s success have removed the seams from the British driver’s underwear and shortened his shoelaces.

With technology ever changing in the Formula One world, Mercedes are looking to drum up fresh ideas to increase their performance on the track as they push to be quickest off the grid.

New concepts for their drivers include seamless fire-proof underwear and lighter shoes with shorter laces made from Nomex, a fire-resistant material.

Also coming into play are new lighter and disposable race suits manufactured by their sponsored brand Puma which will weigh just 650 grams.

Mercedes also plan to leave certain parts of their cars unpainted, specifically rear-end wing plates with black carbon fibre, an idea which will save 25-30g per end-plate.

The use of less drink bottles when not essential and a special battery powered F1 car which is more representative of speed around the track are two more ideas.

World Champion Hamilton says that the changes will make a difference to Mercedes for the better.

Hamilton said: "There is a broad area to focus on, but I think there will be small nuances and small percentages that will make a difference.

F1 Grand Prix of Spain - Practice

"There are lots of small little areas, one of them is from the driving side another is from the strategy side and with the car, I think we have done well with it trying to extract the best out of it each weekend."

Mercedes team designer John Owen explained the new adjustments in more detail in an interview with The Sun.

He said: "Driver kit was an area we attacked a few years ago. The length of the laces in shoes, the amount of Velcro in the racesuit, the thickness of the material.

"Then there are the gloves. It started with Nico Rosberg in 2016 and we now have the seams on the outside of the gloves.

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"That was for comfort and weight-saving. Putting seams where they were not rubbing up against the driver and making it more comfortable.

"Also, when feeling the clutch at the start is critical, having a big seam from one glove to another is a big inconsistency."

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