Mercedes targets car updates for F1 season opener

Mercedes is aiming to bring some updates for the W11 Formula 1 car to the opening round of the delayed 2020 season in Austria next month.

Mercedes targets car updates for F1 season opener

After launching its new W11 car in February, Mercedes impressed through pre-season testing before heading to the Australian Grand Prix as the favourite for victory prior to the race being cancelled.

The opening 10 races of the 2020 season were called off as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which also resulted in all teams observing a lengthy shutdown period.

But with all teams now returning to work and preparing for a run of eight grands prix in 10 weeks, Mercedes' attention has returned to adding developments to the car it hopes will deliver a seventh straight set of championships this year.

Read Also:

Mercedes technical director James Allison said that while the team had been forced to suspend work during the shutdown period, plenty of work had gone into developments for the W11 car where possible.

The team is now aiming to bring these developed car parts to Austria for the start of the season.

"If you imagine where the launch car was and the car that would have gone to Australia, that was frozen around about Christmas," Allison said in a video on Petronas' social media channels.

"There was the whole of January, whole of February, March, all making the car quicker in the wind tunnel and also in the design departments.

"We got quite a lot of ideas about how to make it quicker, and quite a lot of those ideas were already in process through the design office before we were forced to shut down nine weeks ago.

"Our challenge now is to make sure that quarter of a year of development can get off the drawing boards and onto the car as swiftly as possible.

"We hope to have a chunk of that for the first race in Austria, and the season that follows will of course take as much of the development as fast as we can get it onto the car in turn."

Ferrari is set to bring an updated engine and gearbox to Austria, but smaller teams such as Haas are suspending development until the calendar and their corresponding budgets for the year are finalised.

The push to add updates to the Mercedes car will come as a boost to drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, both of whom recently made their on-track return in a private test at Silverstone by driving the 2018-spec Mercedes W09 car.

Allison said that while he thought the long break from racing will have a greater toll on the drivers than the rest of the Mercedes team, there was little doubt both Hamilton and Bottas were well-prepared for the new season to begin.

"I expect mentally it's tougher for the drivers than for the team, this period of waiting," Allison said.

"For the drivers, all the peaks of emotion are amplified, the highs are higher, the lows are lower. To get yourself ready to go at the start of a season, and then have it taken away from you the way that it was in Melbourne, that's tough I think for the drivers to take.

"It will be a sign of their resilience and competitiveness to see them bristle back to work with all the vim and vigour that is necessary to be right on it from the start.

"I have little doubt both Lewis and Valtteri will be ready to go when it matters in Austria."

shares
comments
Legendary Ferrari F1 photographer Colombo knighted in Italy

Previous article

Legendary Ferrari F1 photographer Colombo knighted in Italy

Next article

The 2005 US GP farce: The full inside story

The 2005 US GP farce: The full inside story
Load comments
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory Prime

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Prime

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021