Mercedes unveiled their 2021 car on Tuesday, but not all elements of the car were available for the public – and rival teams – to see.
Speaking during the Silver Arrows’ live unveiling of the W12, Mercedes technical director James Allison noted that they had covered the rear floor section to prevent their competitors from seeing what changes they have made.
“Across the whole car, it is dressed in new clothes, new aerodynamic finery, that we hope will make it a successful car,” Allison said.
“The bit we’re not showing you is down along the edge of the floor. That area is the area that was most affected by the new regulations where they tried to pull performance away from the car by changing the floor regs.
“And down there, there’s a bunch of aerodynamic detail that we are not quite ready to release to the world.
“Not because it’s not there, but because we don’t want our competitors to see it, we don’t want them starting to put similar things in their wind tunnels. It just buys us a couple of weeks extra.
“We all look very closely at what our competitors do, so we know our competitors will be looking. We don’t have to show it yet, so we’re not,” Allison added.
He also noted that Mercedes have upgraded their power unit as they look to continue to have a power advantage over their rivals, with the other three engine suppliers – namely Renault, Ferrari and Honda – also upgrading their PUs for this upcoming season.
Allison and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff both stressed that there is no guarantee they will have the fastest car on the grid when the season gets underway in Bahrain later this month, but given their domination of the turbo-hybrid era of Formula One, it’s difficult not to consider them the favourites.