Mercedes-AMG Motorsport technical director James Allison had said that the team do not want to run out of “development steam” in not changing their car design compared to last year due to similar regulations being in force for this season.
“The regulations stayed largely the same for the new year, so for us it was all about trying to make sure that we don’t run out of development steam on a package that worked pretty well for us last year,” said Allison.
“We wanted to change aspects of the concept of the car – aspects that would be completely impossible to change within a season – to give us a more fertile platform for the new season.
“We tried to make a few well-chosen architectural changes to keep the development slope strong even though the regulations are now a little bit longer in the tooth.”
Big changes, same car
As well as fine-tuning the development of the car, the team have also made three notable changes – one at the front, one in the middle, and the third and final at the rear of the car.
Allison added, “At the front, we have accepted more structural complexity around the uprights and wheel rims in order to provide a higher performance assembly overall.
“In the middle of the car, we have followed the pitlane trend by moving our upper side impact tube to the lower position and banking the aerodynamic gain that comes with this layout.
“At the rear of the car, we have gone for an adventurous suspension layout in order to free up aerodynamic development opportunity.
“All three investments were improvements in their own right, but their real effect is to mobilise a raft of secondary aerodynamic gains both during the winter and, we hope, across the season to come,” he said.