Mercedes chief technical officer James Allison believes some teams might get their new Formula 1 designs “really badly wrong” for the 2022 season.

The introduction of the new aerodynamic rules for this season meant teams were on an equal starting point when it came to the development of their new cars. Because of this, some squads might struggle and lose out to the rest of the field – no matter if big or small.

“Everyone in our team, and everyone in every other team, will have done our level best to try to find a design and an approach that will be a happy match to this new regulation set,” said Allison.

“And we’ll all get to find out together at the start of this season, in the races that unfold from there, exactly how that shakes out.

“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 really badly wrong. And they will have a terribly painful year.”

Allison said Mercedes approached the big change in regulations with “all the fun and relish that the challenge deserves.”

“Our job is to look for technical opportunity and regulations,” he continued, “and then use our combined wit and skill and all the effort that we make collectively, to try and find a configuration of a car that will be better than anyone else’s approach to it.

“When everything is as new as this, then everywhere you look in that regulation set, twice as thick as the old one, there’s opportunity.

“There’s opportunity. And of course, there’s jeopardy, and we try to pick our way through the potential minefield and pick up all the little boxes of treasure that may be set in amongst the landmines, to end up with a car that we hope will see us pitching at the front of the grid.”

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