Mercedes’ James Allison: “We’ll be in with a shout”

James Allison, Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team. Credit: Steve Etherington

James Allison, technical director at Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, was more reserved than you’d expect for someone who’s drivers finished 1-2 in both Free Practice One and Two.

This could show just how uncertain the upgrades that are being introduced at the Spanish Grand Prix are making the weekend.

Allison can at least take comfort from the trouble-free running that the team enjoyed, which suggests that the parts have transitioned from factory to car without hitch.

It was a pretty good day for the team,” he said. “We have some new bits on the car for this weekend that we wanted to try out and ensure everything was working well with those and it seems like it is.”

Allison expects tyre degradation to play a major part in the weekend’s events, something that up until now hasn’t really been a concern; the 2017 compounds were developed for their minimal wearing properties.

But Mercedes has continually improved since their first visit to Barcelona during pre-season testing, with both Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton in contention for the championship.

He is positive that if this good form continues on both Saturday and Sunday, they are guaranteed a good haul of points.

At a track that can suffer from high tyre degradation we’re keen to ensure that our car is good on both the long-runs and the short-runs,” he added. “We feel like we’re in better shape in that compared to winter testing.

“We’ve definitely made some progress and we’ll be in with a shout if we keep up the good work this weekend.”