Mercedes technical director outlines ‘adventurous’ developments

Daniel Herrero


Saturday 15th February, 2020 - 9:54am


Valtteri Bottas shakes down the Mercedes-AMG F1 W11

Mercedes-AMG has been ‘adventurous’ with aspects of the now-revealed W11 which it will race in the 2020 Formula 1 season, according to technical director James Allison.

The Anglo-German outfit had already shown off its new livery but has now taken the covers off the car with which it will hope to win seventh straight drivers’ and constructors’ championships.

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According to Allison, there was still scope for significant changes to the Mercedes despite the stability in regulations for this year which precede the revolutionary 2021 ruleset.

“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,” he explained.

“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.”

Elaborating on the changes, Allison added, “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 mobilise a raft of secondary aerodynamic gains both during the winter and, we hope, across the season to come.”

Allison also predicted that there would be no dramatic modifications to its design from testing to the season-opener at Albert Park, as was the case 12 months ago.

“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,” he declared.

“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.”

Mercedes-AMG F1 Team has also announced that Stoffel Vandoorne and Esteban Gutierrez will serve as its reserve drivers in 2020.

The first pre-season test of the year, to be held at Barcelona, starts on February 19. comment policy

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