Mercedes' Tech Director Surprised by Red Bull's Innovations: An Intriguing Reaction

James Allison is surprised by Red Bull's changes

by Sead Dedovic
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Mercedes' Tech Director Surprised by Red Bull's Innovations: An Intriguing Reaction
© Dan Mullan/Getty Images Sport

Red Bull leaders showed courage with the new RB20 and its design. Although most expected Red Bull to stick to the design from the previous year, this team decided to make changes that surprised F1 fans. Judging by the performance in Bahrain, many believe they did not make a mistake. Several F1 experts, directors, and team leaders reacted to Red Bull's innovations. One of them is James Allison, the technical director of Mercedes. In a media interview, Allison congratulated Red Bull on their courage. After such a dominant season, they made changes that surprised everyone.

“Mostly, I thought that, when a team is out in front as they have been, it’s quite easy to rest on your laurels,” he said, as quoted by planetf1.com

“I thought ‘bravo to them’ for being willing to do something that is not just a straightforward iteration of the previous season."


In response to the question about whether Red Bull's change in design vindicates Mercedes' past decisions, Allison expressed that he doesn't believe so. He emphasized that the engine cover shape of different cars in the pit lane wouldn't greatly impact performance, emphasizing the limited influence of such design elements.

Allison went on to explain that the real point of interest lies in the modifications Red Bull has made beneath the engine cover, rather than focusing just on the external shape. He stressed that Mercedes' own adjustments last year, such as the alterations to the side pod layout, were motivated by a curiosity to understand their potential impact on performance. Allison suggested that while external changes often grab attention, they may not always produce great improvements in overall performance.

Allison reflected on the W15 and made a comparison with the W14. Mercedes did not have a successful previous season; in fact, it was one of their worst seasons. They knew that significant changes were necessary if they wanted to compete for the top spot this season. The leaders of Mercedes carefully considered what to do. They didn't want their rivals to make a huge leap forward while they stood still. Judging by everything, Mercedes has done a good job, and they could finally be a team competing for the championship this season. However, let's wait and see.


“We just iterated forward from there,” he said.

“And wound up with a car that, predictably enough, has more downforce than the previous year, having put an awful lot of effort into achieving just that.”

Toto Wolff reacts to W15 car: Our focus at the test was on learning about the car we have

Toto Wolff also commented on the new W15 car in a media interview, expressing high expectations. Wolff primarily expressed excitement about the upcoming season. He is aware that this season will bring a lot – both drama and moments of success and failure. Toto reflected on the previous two seasons, which didn't start in the best way. The W13 and W14 cars didn't perform as well for the team, and Wolff is not happy about it, emphasizing that they were 'inconsistent machines.'

Toto Wolff
Toto Wolff© Getty Images Sport
 

For this reason, Mercedes decided to change things this year and create a car that will be consistent. Since this is Hamilton's last season, Toto hopes that the British driver can achieve great results and conclude his story in the way everyone desires. Russell is also expected to deliver a lot, considering his maturity as a driver and readiness for a breakthrough.

Wolff believes that the first race in Bahrain will best show the teams' standings. Judging by his statements, Red Bull is still a team they expect to be at the top. The Austrian team had dominance last season, and many anticipate a similar story in the 2024 season. Whether Wolff makes such statements to relieve pressure from his team or is truly convinced of Red Bull's dominance, we do not know. What is certain is that Wolff is motivated to dethrone Red Bull. It will be a tough task, but not impossible. Mercedes is a team that has shown in previous years that they are ready for significant achievements.

“Our focus at the test was on learning about the car we have. Our attention can now turn to tuning performance for the Bahrain race weekend.

Red Bull, as is to be expected, look to be at the head of the field. The chasing pack looks tight. We will soon get an idea of where we stack up in that. And the task that is ahead of us to close the gap to the front."-he concluded.

Interestingly, Mercedes fans are optimistic about this season, considering the statements of the team's leaders and everything they have had the opportunity to see so far.

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