Mercedes tests new F1 rain lights in rear wing end plates

Mercedes tested the new rain lights for the FIA in Barcelona. Laurence Edmondson

BARCLEONA, Spain -- Mercedes has tested a pair of new rain lights on the rear wing of its car on the opening morning of in-season testing.

The two vertical red lights are fitted within the end plates of the rear wing and were working in tandem with the central rain light in the rear crash structure. The lights were fitted to Lewis Hamilton's car on the first morning of the two-day in-season test, which got underway on Tuesday at the Circuit de Catalunya.

It is not unusual for new safety devices to be trialed during testing in conjunction with the FIA and Mercedes confirmed the lights are designed to allow better visibility in the rain. If the lights become mandatory under the regulations it would not be until next year.

Under the current regulations, the rear rain light is turned on in the wet and when the car's MGU-K is recovering energy around the circuit. The light acts as a warning to other drivers when a car is harvesting power as the energy recovery can result in reduced speeds on straights.