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F1 | Mercedes sees 2022 regulations as a chance to show “we haven’t just been lucky”

Mercedes’ Chief Technical Officer, James Allison provides some insight on how his team sees the all-new 2022 cars as a chance to prove the all-conquering squad wasn’t just lucky when it won the last eight seasons.

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F1 | Mercedes sees 2022 regulations as a chance to show “we haven’t just been lucky”
Fuente imagen: Twitter @FIA

In a short, but very informative YouTube video on Mercedes’ official channel, Allison explained how the Brackley squad approaches the all-new Formula 1 regulations for 2022, which changes the cars dramatically compared to previous seasons, and, according to him, the new rulebook is “twice as thick” as the previous one.

Allison was clear in pointing out how Mercedes isn’t afraid of change, and instead, they relish the opportunities presented in such a situation, not only in the technical side, aiming to build the fastest possible F1 car, but also on the benefits for the team personnel and the brand of Mercedes-Benz, to prove they can win even when things change radically.

“We approach a regulation set like this not with a view of whether or not it will deliver on its objectives, we just take the regulations as they’re written – and try to figure out how to make the car as fast as we possibly can.

“When the regulations change in such a large measure – as these ones – we approach that with all the fun and relish that that challenge deserves. Our job is to look for technical opportunities in regulations, and then use our combined wit and skill, and all the effort that we make collectively, to try to find a configuration of car that will be better than anyone else’s approach to it.

“And when everything is as new as this, then everywhere you look in that regulation set – twice as thick as the old one – there is opportunity. There’s opportunity and of course there’s jeopardy, and we try to pick our way through the potential minefield, and picking up all the little boxes of treasure, that may be set in amongst the landmines, to end up with a car that, we hope, will see us pitching at the front of the grid,” Allison said.

He also strongly pointed out how there is a misconception about Mercedes’ dominance in F1 since 2014, when the V6 turbo hybrid power units were introduced, and how a big regulation shake-up like the one in 2022, is a chance to prove its doubters wrong:

“It’s not unique to Mercedes to be excited about a regulation set, but it is something I can speak of with the personal experience of having been a part of this team, that we do love it, when new regulations come along. We see it as an opportunity to show that we haven’t just been lucky over the years. We haven’t merely stumbled into a formula.

It’s often talked about, as the turbo hybrid era, as if we stumbled into some God-given right to have been dominant all these last seasons. We see every single regulation change as opportunity to pit our wits against them, and see whether we actually deserve, still, to be competitive. To see whether or not we can show afresh, that we understood the physics behind the car, that we’ve tried to translate that into designs and concepts, that we’re then realise in manufacturing, and then deliver to the track in a way that allows us to be competitive once more.

“This team does have a culture that treats such opportunities with excitement and pleasure, and a chance to demonstrate to ourselves that we, hopefully, are not bad at doing racing cars.

The team’s CTO also gave his views on what to expect in the new season. He believes “none of us know”, and is sure this will be an exciting period, as that is “the essence of sport”, to not know what to expect, but he does make a prediction, saying “one or two” teams will get the design badly wrong and will suffer throughout the season:

“That is a difficult thing to anticipate, in terms of what the pecking order will be, it’s a difficult thing to anticipate exactly how everything will play out. But it’s a brilliantly exciting thing to contemplate, precisely because none of us know (what will happen).

“One of the things that is the essence of sport, is not knowing. All of us have done our level best – I am talking about everyone in our team, everyone in other teams – will have done our level best to try to find, a design and an approach that will be a happy match to this new regulation set.

“We’ll all get to find out together at the start of this season, in the races that unfold from there, exactly how that shakes out.

“Given that the cars are so new, and so different, one or two cars on the grid will have got it really badly wrong, and that they will have a terribly painful year,” he concluded.

Mercedes will launch its 2022 car, the W13 E Performance, on the 18th of February.

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