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No airbox on Mercedes’ revised 2010 car

One of the innovations on the Mercedes car for the Spanish grand prix is the abolishment of the traditional ‘airbox’.

The airbox – an inlet for the normally-aspirated engines – has traditionally been part of the roll-hoop structure immediately behind and above the drivers’ head.

But the rollover structure of the revised W01 is now sharp as a knife, with air to now be fed to the 2.4 litre V8 engine via two symmetrical inlets on either side of the engine cover.

Also spotted in the Barcelona pitlane on Thursday was Christian Klien, having his moulded seat and settings fitted to the HRT car usually belonging to Karun Chandhok.

The team’s newly-appointed third driver will hand the F110 car back to Indian Chandhok ahead of Friday’s afternoon practice session.

Meanwhile, in the paddock, Virgin’s new double-storey motor home won the race as the most impressive of F1’s three new teams.

Sauber has taken over BMW’s imposing paddock structure of 2009, while Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel walked behind the Circuit de Catalunya pits sporting a new haircut.

Also spotted on Thursday was Joan Villadelprat, who is hoping his Spanish Le Mans outfit Epsilon Euskadi will be given a green light to race in formula one next year.