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Reviews James Allison: What is different this year before the Mercedes launch

15:35  20 february  2021
15:35  20 february  2021 Source:   motorsport-total.com

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McLaren made this week with the presentation of the MCL35M for the Formula 1 season 2021 the beginning. World champion Mercedes takes a little longer: The new car from Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will be presented on March 2nd .

The preparations for this went differently this winter in view of the corona pandemic and the associated restrictions, as Mercedes technical director James Allison reveals in his latest explanatory video . "2021 is a strange year," he says there. "The beginning of the year is very different from usual."

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"Unlike a normal year in which countless parts would flow into the factory from all corners of the world so that we could assemble the new car at the last minute, this year everything is a little different. The reason for this is, that many parts in the W12 were already used in the 2020 season. "

How Corona changed the preparation for the season

In order to save costs in the Corona crisis, Formula 1 decided on an extensive "carry over" from 2020 into the new season. In other words, instead of developing everything from scratch, around 60 percent of the cars from the previous year will be carried over.

"Normally we would test, assemble and then integrate completely new parts into the car. Instead, this year we have more management tasks to make sure that we have enough spare parts and that everything is ready and in the right place," Allison explains associated processes.

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Instead of testing the entire car, only things that have changed are tested. "That brings with it a completely different rhythm and means that we keep asking ourselves: Have we forgotten something? Of course we have a lot to do and double-check everything so that we don't experience any embarrassing moments."

Allison sees aerodynamics as the biggest construction site

The Mercedes technical director sees the biggest challenge over the winter in the changes to the aerodynamic regulations. "They came relatively late in the year and have quite a significant impact on the car's performance."

"In the last few weeks and months, a lot of our focus has been on understanding the effects of these changes on the airflow around the car. We wanted to find out how we could regain the lost performance from the new rules," explains Allison the procedure.

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Because , the new aero rules aim to reduce the downforce of the bolides by up to ten percent. For this reason, solutions are being worked on in the wind tunnel and with computer simulations, which then have to be converted into components "which are produced in full size in time for the new season and built into the car".

Mercedes happy despite corona restrictions

Of course, work will continue to be affected by the pandemic. But Allison emphasizes: "We were very lucky in several ways. First of all, Formula 1 made some very sensible decisions last year. We were able to build a new car without having to start with a blank sheet of paper."

"We were able to take over many aspects and parts of the car from the previous year, for example the chassis or the transmission. That took a large part of the load off our shoulders," says the engineer, referring to the "Carry Over".

"The second factor is that we are lucky enough to have good facilities and lots of space. This space allowed us to expand and implement the necessary social distancing so that everyone could work safely while we were building the new car "Even if it wasn't as fun as usual, Allison admits.

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