James Allison Cites Two Constraints on Mercedes W15 Evolution

James Allison has pointed out two principal limitations affecting the development of Mercedes' W15 F1 car for the 2024 season.


By Ben Bush
Updated on February 15, 2024

Mercedes-AMG F1 W15 E Performance Launch

Mercedes faces the prospect of starting the 2024 F1 season at a disadvantage due to constraints in advancing certain aspects of their W15.

The unveiling of the W15 took place on Wednesday morning, marking the final campaign for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes.

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The team from Brackley is eager to ensure their car is competitive, especially after a winless 2023, a first since 2011.

Mercedes has embarked on a radical redesign featuring a new chassis and gearbox.

However, these substantial modifications have impacted the car’s overall development progress.

James Allison, the technical director, has indicated that the extensive costs associated with these changes have necessitated cutbacks in other vehicle development areas.

“A new chassis and gearbox were standard for each year, pre-budget-cap,” he explained.

“The latter usually forces you to choose, but there are teams like us who have opted to change both.

“There is no doubt that having a new outer casing of the gearbox and, at the same time, having a new chassis are two big projects that take a part of our financial means.

“This means that in other parts of the car, we have not pushed as much development.”

“I feel like we delivered on all the things we said we wanted to do. Some aspects are unlimited, and therefore, you can never be fully satisfied,” he added.

“However, we won’t know until we actually get the machine moving. But I think we can say that we feel like we’ve done a good job. F1 is a relative game.

“Whether we have worked well enough to be competitive, only time will tell. We don’t know what everyone else did.”

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Ben Bush

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

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