Mercedes technical director James Allison explains the challenges ahead in-depth amid Formula 1 prepares for one of the most significant rules and vehicle changes in recent history. Allison states that Mercedes will do everything to prove they aren’t fortunate over the last eight years.
Mercedes claim that the massive F1 rules changes in 2022 come with “jeopardy” and “landmines”; however, they also claim to be excited to prove that they weren’t “lucky” with their previous title-winning cars.
The new regulations were explained in detail. The challenges to be faced Technical director James Allison also predicted that specific teams may have made the preparations “badly wrong” and will be in for a “terribly painful” season.
The aerodynamics and the cars have been entirely overhauled to this year’s season as F1 strives to make for faster and more exciting racing.
Allison stated that the magnitude of the modifications “dwarfs anything else I’ve ever seen” and added that the team had revamped this automobile “from tip to toe.”
“The ruleset is not only enormous – the regulations are about twice the size of what’s preceded them – but they’re all almost entirely different from what came before them,” Allison declared in the Mercedes video that showed the 2022 model’s preview.
“That has forced us to revamp the car from top to toe. Everywhere you go, it’s new.
“Not just new as in new parts, but new as in new philosophy, completely new aerodynamic package, different brakes, different wheels, and different tires.”
💬 "When the regulations change in such large measure, we approach that with all the fun and relish that the challenge deserves"
Check out the full video, as James sets the scene on a whole new era of F1… 🤓👇
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) January 25, 2022
Mercedes, like other teams, has been working on the latest vehicles for many years, and Allison acknowledged that it was a “hard and very challenging process.” He also clarified why there was the potential for “landmines” and “treasure.”
“When the regulations change in such large measure as these, then we approach that with all the fun and relish that challenge deserves because our job is to look for technical opportunity in regulations, then use our combined wit and skill, and all the effort we make collectively to try to find a configuration of car that will be better than anyone else’s approach to it,” he added.
“And in a world as fresh as this, everywhere you go in that set – which is twice as thick as the previous one – you’ll find opportunities, and it’s also a matter of risk.
“So we try to pick our way through the potential minefield, picking up all the little boxes of treasure that may be set in amongst the landmines to end up with a car we hope will see us pitching up at the front of the grid.”
Mercedes have had an unbeatable run of 8 consecutive constructors’ awards since winning the last significant rules overhaul in 2014. They say they’re looking forward to showing their skills again.
“It’s not unique to Mercedes to be excited about the regulation set, but it is something I can speak of with personal experience that we do love it when new regulations come along,” Allison added. Allison.
“We consider it an opportunity to prove that we haven’t only been fortunate all year long. We’ve never stumbled upon an equation and have a God-given opportunity to be the best throughout the last few seasons.
“We see every single regulation change as an opportunity to pit our wits against them and see whether we deserve to be competitive against them, to see whether or not we can show afresh that we’ve understood the physics behind the car, that we’ve just tried to translate that into designs and concepts, realizing in manufacturing, and then deliver to the track in a way that allows us to be competitive once more.”
Not every team will be satisfied with their efforts when the cars are on track. Also, Allison believes that there will be some tough seasons for specific groups, but Allison also said that teams would learn from one another.
“I would imagine, given that the cars are so new and so different, that one or two cars on the grid will have got it badly wrong, and they will have a painful year,” he said.
“And then we’ll be scrambling around to try and get that idea onto our car as far as possible so that we can claw our way forward, or if we are in front, to keep the attacking wolves behind us.”
The First F1 automobile launch is scheduled for February 10, and Mercedes unveils its W13 in February. The first test of the preseason begins on February 23 in Barcelona, and the season gets starting on March 20.