Mercedes is working to bring upgrades to its suspension as well as aerodynamic changes during the April break, according to chief technical officer James Allison.
A tough pre-season and opening race in Bahrain led to Mercedes instantly switching focus with the concept of its 2023 car, and team principal Toto Wolff was quickly optimistic about the progress being made in the wind tunnel. Now with a four-week gap between races, Allison – who is no longer actively working on the Formula 1 side of the business but remains chief technical officer – says the break will see a focus on trying to deliver a more driver-friendly car.
“We will be doing the normal things,” Allison said. “We are working as hard as we can in the wind tunnel to find more downforce, we will be working as hard as we can in the drawing office to convert the things that the wind tunnel found a few weeks ago into performance that we deliver to the track.
“We will be working in the drawing office also 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 drivable thing, making it something that the drivers have more confidence to push right to the limits.”
However, Allison says just doing the right preparation for the challenging Baku circuit ahead of a sprint weekend is likely to be the key to a successful performance after the break.
“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.
“That will be a big deal at Baku, it’s the first sprint race of the weekend. Sprint races really reward the teams that can land there with a starting setup that is pretty on the money and ready to go in qualifying because the time is really compressed in a sprint race weekend. 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.”