Formula 1

‘Pretty chipper’ Mercedes will have more ‘tweaks’ to 2021 car

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
3 min read

Mercedes is “pretty chipper” about the performance of its British Grand Prix upgrade and may make further “tweaks” – although won’t bring another major package – to its 2021 F1 car, chief technical officer James Allison has clarified.

Team boss Toto Wolff’s comments in a prior weekend in Austria had created confusion over whether the Mercedes W12 would be at all improved over the rest of the season, but his comments were later elaborated on as the team not having any new bits planned besides what was already in the planned pipeline.

Indeed, Mercedes rocked up to the Silverstone weekend with an upgrade that encompassed the floor, bargeboards and cake tins, front and back, on the W12.

And though Lewis Hamilton anticipated that the upgrades wouldn’t be enough to reel in Red Bull, they did seemingly allow Mercedes to run a less aggressive front wing and propelled Hamilton to Friday pole – before he went on to win the grand prix after a controversial coming together with Max Verstappen.

Asked in Mercedes’ usual post-grand prix debrief video whether the team was satisfied with the performance of the upgrade, Allison said that the “simple and short answer” was “yes”.

“We brought a decent aero package to the track, we definitely saw an improvement in our performance and we were very happy with it,” he said.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship British Grand Prix Race Day Silverstone, England

“Whether the performance was a little bit more or a little bit less than we imagined is really hard to tell because you don’t get the luxury of performing a controlled experiment. You don’t run the old package and the new package several times doing back-to-back tests with fresh tyres each time, because the weekend just doesn’t give you that luxury.

“Nevertheless you do and are able to make some comparison because you make measurements on the car with all the sensors and you can compare back to the weekends before and look at the performance of the car before and compare to the one that you had this weekend and it did all seem to be behaving very well.

“And if you then look at the stopwatch, you could see that just relative to the field we had moved forward this weekend, we were able to close some ground on Red Bull and we were able to have a more competitive weekend as a result.

“So, we came home from the weekend pretty chipper about the upgrade.”

Allison then confirmed that the Silverstone package was the last major upgrade for the W12, with Mercedes putting the vast majority of its resources towards the new regulations in 2022.

However, he did leave the door open for further “tweaks”.

“Is there any more to come? There may be, here and there but the main industrial effort of our development programme, that was the last big package that we will bring this year.

“But there will be a few tweaks here and there where we can see efficiently that we can bring some performance without distracting us from the big effort that is now going into next year’s car.”

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