James Allison, Mercedes technical director, has confirmed that the update to the aero package brought to Silverstone was a success for the German team.
With regards to car development, this season is set to be one of the most challenging for the engineers in the garages. As cars often need more improvements with each track visited on the calendar, the challenge this season is actually caused by the budget cut for the 2022 season. Teams are currently finding their optimal balance between upgrading their current car versus their car for the next season.
Most teams have already announced that they will be ceasing 2021 development in an attempt to get ahead for the next season. Allison has revealed Mercedes’ plans for development for the remainder of the year: “Is there any more to come? There may be, here and there. But the vast, main industrial effort of our development program, 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.”
After Mercedes’ lack of competitiveness in Austria, the German team was ready to bring forward their biggest upgrade into Silverstone. James Allison has now confirmed that this new package brought thrilling gains to their W12 car.
“We brought a decent aero package to the track, we definitely saw an improvement in our performance and we were very happy with it.
“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 tires 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.
“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.”