James Allison believes last year’s title-winning Mercedes looks “clumsy and naive” in certain areas compared to the 2019 car that the team has developed.
Mercedes took a fifth consecutive drivers’ and constructors’ championship double last season, wrapping both titles up before the final race of the season. With new regulations coming into effect this year, Allison explained the differences between the two cars in a video on the team’s social media channels, and the technical director says the W10 shows how much concepts change from year to year.
“It’s an interesting thing that things that we thought last year were a source of great pride to us – things that we thought we had pushed to the very limit – now start to look clumsy and naive by comparison,” Allison said.
“Take last year’s sidepods as an example. They were something that we made quite a big fuss about last year because they were tighter than we ever managed to make any previous year. But look at these sidepods, look at this bodywork, and it is just vacuum-wrapped to the car in a way that we couldn’t have thought possible 12 months earlier. And similarly on the front suspension, once again we’ve been able to lift them further on this year’s car.
“And the same is true everywhere. If you were to take the skin off of this car and look underneath it, you would find that in every part of the car it’s been just pushed a bit tighter, made a bit stiffer, made a bit lighter, and just bought more performance. All of it added up to get us something which we truly hope will be a competitive car once we start racing.”
Explaining the launch specification car that Mercedes used during its filming day at Silverstone and early in pre-season, Allison highlighted the development rate as resulting in a very different car by the end of testing.
“As excited as we are about this car – and we truly are excited about it – we know too that almost every square millimeter of this one is going to change once again by the time we get to the first race in Melbourne, because the rate of aerodynamic change at the moment with this new regulation is very rapid.
“This launch car will do the winter testing and then be replaced by a whole new set of clothes that we will take to Melbourne and then keep developing throughout the whole year.”