A secret of Mercedes' 2014 dominance has been compared to the game-changing 'double diffuser' innovation of a few years ago.
It emerged in Bahrain that, beneath the skin of the dominant Mercedes-powered cars in 2014, the new turbo V6 features its turbine and air compressors uniquely packaged at either end of the 'power unit'.
It means that, although McLaren, Williams and Force India are also benefitting from the sleek layout, the works Brackley based team had vast lead-time in designing the aerodynamic concept of the dominant W05 around it.
"We're talking about 2014's double diffuser with the exception that you can't copy it this year," Mark Hughes, a highly respected F1 technical analyst, told the British broadcaster Sky in Bahrain.
"Its impact is maybe not quite as big as active ride (suspension), which was in the order of two seconds per lap, but it's certainly a major technical advantage that they've engineered themselves in for the rest of the season."
Hughes explained that, although the customer Mercedes teams are running precisely the same innovation, it is the works squad that is taking most advantage.
"They gave themselves a big head-start -- it was the chassis team's concept to ask for this from the engine people, and they delivered it.
"The difference (for the customer teams) is that they found out about the detail of the engine when they signed the contract.
"But the works team gave themselves three years to conceive the car around that feature.
"For the (customers), it's presented as a little bit of a surprise, but they're still getting an advantage from the system," he added.
F1 to push ahead with making V6 engines louder
F1 will push ahead with trying to make the sport's new turbo V6 engines louder.
In an interview with the British broadcaster Sky on Sunday, chief executive Bernie Ecclestone was told by former driver Martin Brundle that changing the sound would surely require a total engine "redesign".
But Ecclestone hit back: "The noise comes from where?
"All the air exits in the end out of what we call the exhaust pipe. So they can maybe do something there to make it sound a lot better," he revealed.
Also on Sunday in Bahrain, McLaren supremo Ron Dennis rebuked world champion Sebastian Vettel for being "disrespectful" when recently he described the sound of 2014 as "shit".
But that doesn't mean the teams are necessarily opposed to change, he added.
"The fact the cars aren't a bit (more) noisy just doesn't matter," Dennis told Brundle on the grid, as he defended the revolutionarily modern new rules, and hit back at the outspoken critics.
"We can fix that (the sound) easily, but what we should be focused on is what's good for the generations to come."
FIA president Jean Todt on Sunday revealed that the sound 'fix' will begin shortly.
A working group will be set up to 'explore ways to improve the turbo noise', according to the Telegraph correspondent Daniel Johnson.
"Todt told reporters that possible solutions to the quieter sound will be tested after the race in Barcelona next month," he added.
- Interested in buying ? Visit our showroom for more information.