Mercedes Rear Wing
2NYC37A Sakhir, Bahrain. 02nd Mar, 2023. Mercedes AMG F1 W14 rear wing. 02.03.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, Preparation Day. Photo credit should read: XPB/Press Association Images. Credit: XPB Images Ltd/Alamy Live News

Mercedes is looking for redemption this year. The last two seasons have been very tough for them. They have lost their domination on the grid to their arch-rivals. And Red Bull is taking full advantage of that fact. The Austrian outfit is rubbing it on the German team’s faces that they are enjoying the hegemony now. On the other hand, the Brackley team struggled to reply back with a strong and fast car in the last two seasons. Since the German team did not have the right car, they were not able to help Lewis Hamilton win his eighth title so far.

Moreover, the zero sidepod concept really ruined it for Mercedes. It took a couple of years for Toto Wolff and his team to come to their senses and throw that concept away. Finally, Mercedes seemed to revamp their car, which should help Hamilton and his teammate George Russell take the fight to Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. Clearly, Red Bull’s RB19 was the fastest F1 car there has been in a long time. However, Mercedes making some significant changes to progress this winter can actually lead to a very competitive season. 


Mercedes Ironed Out Their Spiteful Rear End

James Allison Mercedes
James Allison Mercedes Source: PlanetF1

The zero sidepod concept and the rear end were really hampering the German team’s progress in the last two years. Moreover, Red Bull’s progress would also determine the chances of success for Mercedes in 2024. Last year, the Austrian team won 21 races out of 22. It is a pretty strong season that Mercedes’ rivals will come off. Anyway, the technical director of Mercedes feels optimistic looking at the current progress. Recently, in an interview with Autosport, James Allison mentioned it is impossible not to be apprehensive at this point of the year. But the Mercedes chief feels the team feels confident after some promising results from the simulator. Allison personally feels a little excited as well as a little frightened.

Moreover, James Allison feels he would assume that guys in Red Bull would not have easy sleep either because nobody knows what others would deliver. On top of that, Allison added that they have reasonable grounds to believe they’ve made some progress this winter. He pointed at the spiteful characteristics of the rear end to become friendlier and handling of the car happier. All these data came from the simulations. Nevertheless, Mercedes can’t help but feel optimistic. Anyway, the technical director said they also focused on more downforce and power this offseason. 

James Allison Has Reasons To Believe Red Bull Will Find It Hard To Keep Improving

James Allison Mercedes
James Allison Mercedes Technical Director Source: Sky Sports F1

About the downforce, Allison said after all the data from the W14 car, they have had all the normal housekeeping staff to make the car lighter. That would make it more “Downforcy.” Moreover, he expects to get help from the power unit side. They are still capable of doing calibration-level tinkering under the current rules.

Moreover, Allison feels only time can tell if the changes are enough. But the Mercedes technical director mentioned the F1’s new ground effect regulations will make Red Bull’s progress even harder. Allison said the grid is gradually compressing. It should make the season this year more competitive despite what happened last year.