Mercedes F1 technical director, James Allison, has admitted that the 'fate' of their 2024 challenger, the W15, will depend on the approach and methodology taken by the team before the car is revealed to the public.
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, along with the rest of the Mercedes team, will be hoping that 2024 brings with it a far more competitive F1 car for them to mount a challenge on reigning champions Red Bull.
Allison is well-accustomed to hearing questions over the design process at Mercedes, especially in the last two seasons, but the team's technical director has admitted that far more goes on behind the scenes than most will ever realise.
Allison: Mercedes F1 fate depends on our process
"To the mind of a designer or a performance person in F1, concept is actually nothing to do with the car," he told Sky Sports.
"It's about a process by which you decide what good looks like, and what bad looks like. It's your methodology for sort of sieving out all the many, many things you might put on the car and finding only the ones that you really think are going to add lap time, it's method. The car itself is just the output of that method.
"So when you talk to us about concept, we're hearing, 'What, you think our wind-tunnel weighting system wasn't right?' And we've changed that, or our way of meshing in CFD was wrong and we've changed the concept of that.
"That's what concept means to us and the car just pops out at the far side of that when we apply that process and that concept.
"So, of course the last two years have required us to adjust our approach and our methodology, our concept, if you will, and as a result of that the hardware that pops out the far side of that, will necessarily be different hardware, because it's defined by different decisions and different weightings of what's important and what isn't.
"You get all excited by the end result, but actually our fate is made by the approach."
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