Allison hopes Mercedes’ Austin F1 upgrade will show they are on the “right track” with development

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Photo Credit: Mercedes AMG-PETRONAS F1 Team

After the initial hype then controversy around it’s ‘zeropod’ side pod concept for 2022, Mercedes elected to hold on to hope that it would give them the good fortune they needed this year. However they finally took the plunge and abandoned the idea and reverted to a more conventional layout from the Monaco Grand Prix in May.

However the Brackley-based team are still having struggles and at the recent Japanese Grand Prix on the 24th of September, Lewis Hamilton was very downbeat about his car’s performance and spoke about how some of their characteristics from 2022 are still hindering their ultimate space and the dreaded word porpoising was even thrown around again while Mercedes cannot optimise their car set up.

Hamilton spoke how Mercedes must have its “greatest six months of development” ever to catch up to Red Bull, about focused on McLaren’s triumph from the wrecks this year as a showcase for what can be done by a team.

Photo Credit: Mercedes AMG-PETRONAS F1 Team

Mercedes Chief Technical Officer James Allison admits that Mercedes hasn’t made the same progress this year as its rivals, however he’s optimistic that laid the foundations to a better 2024.

“This championship, while we haven’t made the really impressive progress that say McLaren have, we have nevertheless been charting a path through the season that gives us a very clear idea of what we need to put right,” said Allison at the most recent race in Qatar.

“So that makes next year’s fun, very exciting to look forward to and this period actually of the year extremely enjoyable.”

Mercedes is set to unveil a floor upgrade to the next round in Austin as it bids to protect the 23-point advantage it currently retains over Ferrari in the Constructors’ standings.

Sitting in P2 in the Constructors Championship is somewhat flattering for Mercedes’ car performance, as they have lagged behind customer engine teams Aston Martin and McLaren at quite a few races this year.

However, Allison says this upgrade isn’t just about instant lap time for the team, but more of an indication if the team is on the “right track” with it’s development path for the future, presumably in terms set up and general drivability of their car.

“Major upgrade, we’re bringing a modified floor, if that’s what you mean, and hopefully it will give us a bit of lap time, always a benefit,” he mentioned.

“But it is mostly a useful thing because it’s a bellwether for whether we’re on the right track. But in lap time terms it will be small,” concluded the Brit.