Mercedes outline development roadmap after Toto Wolff admits huge Imola upgrade

Mercedes chief technical officer James Allison has discussed the team’s roadmap to getting back on track.

With a three and a half week break between the Australian and Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekends, Formula 1 teams have the opportunity to refine their cars and push ahead with development plans.

James Allison, the chief technical officer of Mercedes, has explained how Mercedes are going to use the Easter break like any other working period, as they look to address the W14’s aerodynamic flaws.

“What will we be doing? Well, we are working as hard as we can in the wind tunnel to find more downforce, and we will be working as hard as we can in the drawing office to convert the things the wind tunnel found a few weeks ago into performance that we deliver to the track,” Allison said. 

“We will also be working in the drawing office to bring some mechanical parts to the car, some different suspension components that we think will help the underlying balance of the car and make it a more driveable thing, making it something that the drivers have more confidence to push right to the limits.

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“And we will be working on the normal sort of simulation loop and routine that allow us to prepare for the race weekends that are coming up, making sure that we land the car in the right place when we get to the race, and that will be a big deal in Baku,” he added.

With Baku being a tight street circuit and the first sprint race of the season, it will be critical for teams to have perfected their set up to leave the fourth round with maximum points.

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“Sprint races really reward the teams that can land there with a starting set-up that is pretty on the money and ready to go in qualifying because the time is really compressed in a sprint race weekend,” Allison said.

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“Those are the things we will be working on and hopefully, we work well and strong and have a good showing when we show up in Baku in just a few weeks’ time.”

Heading to Azerbaijan, Mercedes are nine points behind Aston Martin and 67 points behind Red Bull, so the Silver Arrows will be hoping for a high scoring weekend to get back in the title hunt.