Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
FP1 in
28 days
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
51 days
09 May
Next event in
68 days
23 May
Race in
86 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
100 days
13 Jun
Race in
107 days
27 Jun
Race in
121 days
04 Jul
Next event in
124 days
18 Jul
Race in
142 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
156 days
29 Aug
Race in
184 days
05 Sep
Race in
191 days
12 Sep
Race in
198 days
26 Sep
Race in
212 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
215 days
10 Oct
Race in
225 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
240 days
31 Oct
Race in
247 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
267 days
R
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
282 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
289 days

Mercedes opts against 'entire new car' approach for first race

Mercedes Formula 1 team technical director James Allison says that the version of the W11 launched at Silverstone on Friday will not undergo significant change before the first race in Melbourne.

shares
comments
Mercedes opts against 'entire new car' approach for first race

Last year, when new front wing and other rule changes were confirmed at a relatively late stage, the W10 aero package changed dramatically after the first test, as new developments came through the system in Brackley.

Allison says that won't be necessary in 2020 as the rules have remained stable, allowing Mercedes to start testing with a close to definitive car.

"We will be more conventional this year," he said. "We will still have upgrades for Melbourne that will come in the second week of testing, but the 'entire new car' approach of 2019 won't feature.

"Last year, the regulations were changed quite significantly, and they were decided quite late in the year.

"Under those circumstances, doing a launch car and a week two car gave us the chance to build the maximum amount of learning into our Melbourne car.

"With the regulations being more mature this year, and with the opening stab of the 2020 development already being at the same level as the finish of last year's car, repeating last year's approach would not make sense."

Read Also:

Allison says that despite the stable rules, Mercedes has made some significant changes relative to last year's W10, because just developing the older car would not be enough.

"The regulations stayed largely the same for the new year, so for us it was all about trying to make sure that we don't run out of development steam on a package that worked pretty well for us last year.

"If we had continued merely to add flourishes to the 2019 baseline, we would have found some gains, but in all likelihood diminishing returns would be kicking in by now.

"We wanted to change aspects of the concept of the car – aspects that would be completely impossible to change within a season – to give us a more fertile platform for the new season.

"We tried to make a few well- chosen architectural changes to keep the development slope strong even though the regulations are now a little bit longer in the tooth."

 

Explaining the changes, he added: "On top of the conventional fare of winter development we made three investments: One at the front, one in the middle and one at the back of the car.

"At the front we have accepted more structural complexity around the uprights and wheel rims in order to provide a higher performance assembly overall.

"In the middle of the car we have followed the pitlane trend by moving our upper side impact tube to the lower position and banking the aerodynamic gain that comes with this layout.

"At the rear of the car we have gone for an adventurous suspension layout in order to free up aerodynamic development opportunity. All three investments were improvements in their own right, but their real effect is to mobilize a raft of secondary aerodynamic gains both during the winter
and, we hope, across the season to come.

"We have worked – as we would always – on every square millimetre of the car to try and find improvements in this stable set of regulations.

"We have been well rewarded by the amount of downforce we've found since the last race of last year, giving us faith that our three projects have provided a sound foundation to build performance that would not have been possible on the 2019
car."

Allison says that the new car is more efficient than its predecessor.

"Nothing much has changed in the regulations, and so the car will be running at very similar drag levels to last year.

"What has changed, of course, is that our efforts over the winter have increased the aerodynamic efficiency of the aerodynamic package, rewarding us with a car that generates a lot more downforce in exchange for that drag."

Vandoorne handed Mercedes F1 reserve duties for 2020

Previous article

Vandoorne handed Mercedes F1 reserve duties for 2020

Next article

Mercedes explains how W11 design tackles cooling issues

Mercedes explains how W11 design tackles cooling issues
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Mercedes
Author Adam Cooper
Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game Prime

Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game

In a pre-season where Red Bull has been unusually quiet, Max Verstappen has also been guarded about the team's fortunes in 2021. Even after trying the RB16B for the first time at Silverstone, the Dutchman was careful to manage expectations

The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes Prime

The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes

In the strategy for grand prix racing's future, 2021 represents a significant step towards the goal of closer racing and a more level playing field. That's the theory behind the latest raft of changes, but will they have the desired effect?

Formula 1
Feb 24, 2021
What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch Prime

What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch

Red Bull made no secret of the fact its 2021 F1 car is an evolution of its predecessor, but in keeping the same foundations while hiding some tightly-guarded updates with its RB16B, the team aims to avoid suffering the same pitfalls of previous years

Formula 1
Feb 23, 2021
How Albon plans to fight his way out of Red Bull limbo Prime

How Albon plans to fight his way out of Red Bull limbo

Alex Albon has faced the media for the first time since he lost his Red Bull drive at the end of 2020 and dropped out of a Formula 1 race seat altogether. He has a history of bouncing back from setbacks, so here's what he must do to rise again

Formula 1
Feb 23, 2021
Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates Prime

Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates

Carlin has helped guide enough drivers to Formula 1 to fill out an entire grid, plus a handful of reserves, to create a remarkable alumni list. With Yuki Tsunoda set to join that group, Motorsport.com has ranked its graduates to grace the grand prix scene...

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
Why Alfa's 2021 launch says more about its 2022 plans Prime

Why Alfa's 2021 launch says more about its 2022 plans

Alfa Romeo launched its C41 with a revised front nose, but there's little to suggest it will surge up the leaderboard in 2021. As the team frankly admits, it's putting its eggs in the basket labelled 2022 and hoping to hold the eighth place it earned last year

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
Why Gasly’s AlphaTauri haven is a blessing and a curse Prime

Why Gasly’s AlphaTauri haven is a blessing and a curse

Red Bull opted not to re-sign Pierre Gasly even before it decided to drop Alex Albon and so the Frenchman's Formula 1 journey will continue at AlphaTauri. This has positive and negative connotations for one of last season's star performers.

Formula 1
Feb 20, 2021
Eight things Red Bull must do to beat Mercedes in 2021 Prime

Eight things Red Bull must do to beat Mercedes in 2021

After seven years of defeat at the hands of Mercedes, Red Bull is as hungry as ever to secure a fifth world championship. But there are key challenges it must overcome in 2021 to switch from challenger to conqueror

Formula 1
Feb 19, 2021