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Mercedes F1 Targets Consistency with W15 at Imola

Mercedes F1 Targets Consistency with W15 at Imola

18/05/2024

Since the current regulatory era began, Mercedes F1 has struggled with consistency. Technical Director James Allison hopes the W15 will bring stability, starting with a positive Friday at Imola.

Mercedes F1 has struggled to be consistent from one Grand Prix to another due to a lack of understanding of their car.

Does James Allison, the technical director of the German team, believe that this situation is finally over with the W15, starting with this weekend at Imola?

“I’m not sure I’ve noticed many changes, but I think after an uninspiring start to the season, we are starting to get a bit more accustomed to it. Friday was positive. So, we’ll see if we can maintain this pace during the crucial parts of the weekend.”

“I would cautiously say there are improvements compared to Miami, but it’s a gradual process. I think we are getting there slowly. Imola is probably one of the easier circuits in this regard, as the cornering speeds aren’t very high. It’s a problem we all face, and I think we’ve been a bit slower than others to solve it. But you will see over the next few races that this is something we will increasingly put behind us.”

“Between last year and this year, we have changed some things that can’t be altered mid-season and must be done during the winter. I think these changes have been helpful. I don’t think there are many things in terms of hard points on the car—things that take a season and can only be changed over the winter. There aren’t many things requiring adjustment. Mostly, it’s just a matter of hard work to get us to a more respectable position.”

“Any F1 team not on pole position has a physics problem.”

Toto Wolff mentioned a few races ago a problem related to the physics of the Mercedes. Does Allison share this view?

“I suppose any car that isn’t on pole position has a physics problem because we are all trying to understand the physics of race cars better than our competitors. If we aren’t at the front of the pack, it means we have understood it less well than others. It is probably easier for you to judge if we are mastering our physics by observing whether we are getting closer to the front of the pack. Hopefully, we will be a bit closer this weekend before the summer break, and then we can discuss whether our physics has improved or not.”

As technical director, one can imagine the British engineer is under pressure to get the star team back on the right track.

“I don’t think it’s more difficult for me than for any other team member. It’s always hard when a car isn’t where you want it to be. It’s not a pleasant situation. On the other hand, once you start to see clearly and move it forward, it becomes extremely rewarding. I hope we have overcome the worst of the gloom and are now on an upward trajectory.”

Accelerated Engineer Exchange Between Mercedes and Ferrari

James Allison also confirmed that two senior Ferrari engineers are set to join Mercedes earlier than initially planned following an agreement between the two teams.

It was announced in March that former Ferrari chief designer Simone Resta and head of simulation Enrico Sampo would join Mercedes, but they were expected to take gardening leave.

However, it was confirmed earlier this week that Mercedes’ performance director Loïc Serra and driver development head Jérôme D’Ambrosio would move to Maranello and start their roles with Scuderia Ferrari from October 1.

An agreement has been reached between Mercedes and Ferrari, allowing Resta and Sampo to join Mercedes from the same date, October 1.

Resta is expected to take on the role of Director of Strategic Development, while Sampo will be responsible for performance software applications at Brackley.

The departure of chief aerodynamicist Gioacchino Vino was also announced on Friday as part of a reshuffle, with technical director James Allison attributing the staff turnover to the “normal ebb and flow of personnel” within a team.

Mercedes F1 Targets Consistency with W15 at Imola

Mercedes F1 Targets Consistency with W15 at Imola. Mercedes F1 Targets Consistency with W15 at Imola

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