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Returning Mercedes chief makes ADMISSION about W14 car

Returning Mercedes chief makes ADMISSION about W14 car

Returning Mercedes chief makes ADMISSION about W14 car

Returning Mercedes chief makes ADMISSION about W14 car

Returning Mercedes chief James Allison has revealed the reasons that team's Formula 1 car is so far off the pace of Red Bull in the early stages of the 2023 season.

The Silver Arrows won a record eight successive constructors' championships before F1's regulation change at the start of the 2022 campaign, but since then have been unable to consistently compete for race victories, nevermind the title.

The root of the problem has been a fundamental flaw in Mercedes' aerodynamic concept for the new era. Its so-called 'zeropod' design, labelled as such by fans and media due to its lack of traditional sidepods, did not give either last year's W13 or this season's W14 enough speed to able to challenge at the front.

Earlier this year team principal Toto Wolff admitted the team had made a mistake pursuing the approach into 2023, and revealed that big changes were coming to fully redesign the car.

Allison has been a key figure throughout Mercedes' time in F1.

More to be done

As part of those changes Allison, a senior figure in the team during its 2014-2021 glory years, returns to his previous role as technical director, while Mike Elliot vacates that position in order to replace Allison as chief technical officer.

Now Allison says the W14 is deficient in areas including tyre wear, downforce and handling compared to its frontrunning rivals.

"It's adequately kind to its tyres, but not as good as some of the cars we've made in the past," he told the F1 Nation podcast. "It's got more downforce than most of the cars on the grid, but not sufficient.

READ MORE: What SHOCK Mercedes switch means for Hamilton and team

"Its handling characteristics leave a little to be desired and need to be worked on for sure. But none of this stuff is revelatory, we've been talking about it most weekends and it's part of what this team needs to address to get winning material back in our hands."

For Allison, the car does have some plus points, but remains too 'weak'.

"It's reliable, touch wood, that's a definite strength. It's got a very quick pair of punters pedalling it around. It's better than most of the grid out there, but until it's the quickest one it'll always feel like a weak car to all of us.

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