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F1 Mercedes Strategy Minor Details Major Impact

Mercedes F1’s ‘Vital Focus’: Tiny Details, Big Gains

15/06/2024

Mercedes F1 intensifies focus on operational nuances, proving small details yield significant improvements.

Mercedes F1 is not solely focusing on the performance of its W15; the Brackley-based team is also honing operational aspects, particularly pit stops which have proven costly in recent months. In 2023, they ranked eighth out of ten teams in this area, prompting significant changes.

“It’s a constant effort,” declared Technical Director James Allison. “Had we used last year’s equipment this season, it would have been impossible, regardless of the driver training level, to achieve the pit stop times we are now seeing.”

“We knew our stops were not competitive last year, which is why we invested considerable effort into the minutest details of the car’s angles, so that the wheel nuts and wheels could be mounted and dismounted more quickly, and with a greater margin for error by the mechanics wielding the gun.”

“A tremendous effort from everyone involved in mechanical design to focus on these tiny details, then manufacture all the components, and test them all in the context of development trials.”

“Once we made the leap forward with the hardware, it’s over to the pit teams who, in addition to assembling the car before the race weekend, work every hour God sends on the car during and after the weekend, in the tiny gaps in between, they get the car out and practice whenever they can.”

“Achieving such a level of choreographed and coordinated activity, which looks magnificent on television, doesn’t happen without an enormous amount of practice.”

Allison said the team is now “very satisfied” with its pit stop performance, which has “improved significantly.” However, the engineer reminded that it is not an exact science: “There’s always the sense that, regardless of the training and investment in equipment, pit stops are a Sword of Damocles.”

F1 Mercedes Strategy: Minor Details, Major Impact. F1 Mercedes Strategy: Minor Details, Major Impact

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