Mercedes technical director James Allison has rubbished speculation the 2021 Formula 1 season will see a simple continuation of form as the car regulations are, in reality, "very different".
The sport was intending to introduce a new car specification for the upcoming season, but pushed the implementation of the next era of F1 back until next year, meaning the cars from 2020 have largely been carried over to the new campaign.
However, with a cut to car aerodynamics, new Pirelli tyres, a budget cap and sliding scales for car development and testing decided by championship position, Allison has warned Mercedes are not guaranteed champions just yet.
"If you are looking at this new season of 2021 and you are thinking it is just going to be a carry-over of what we saw in 2020, well, don't be fooled by anyone who is telling you that," he said in a video posted on Mercedes' social media.
"The rules are very, very different for 2021, the work we've had to do has been very wide-reaching and we hope we have done enough to stay successful.
"As ever at this time of year, we are just full of the anxiety and excitement of waiting to find out whether all this investment that we have made into the new car will indeed pay off with a challenger that is capable of fighting from the front."
The winter has been a voyage of discovery for all teams, not least Mercedes who have spent time trying to become accustomed to not having to build a completely new car.
Allison revealed that despite his concern over how much the cars had changed, aspects were "simply inherited" from the W11 to the W12.
"We didn’t have to make them [the parts] afresh and that's been a weird feeling for the organisation not to have that familiar rhythm of the new car in all its glory," he explained.
"But I say intense because although bits of this car have carried over the challenge of getting it ready for a new season has been every bit as difficult as it normally is because a lot has changed."
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