Manoah2u wrote: ↑
Fri Jan 01, 2021 4:52 pm
I think Mercedes really put all their eggs in the basket for the V6T.
There's no way you can convince me any manufacturer started as late as 2012 with their engines for 2014 to begin with.
At what exact time they did start is not in my area of knowledge, but definately far earlier than 2012, so actually, 2007 or 2008 sounds pretty plausible. It could be 2012 when their 'final designs' arrived at the dynos and they worked from there to the 2014 launch specs. I believe Mercedes however 'simply' decided to throw everything at it. It fits with the profile that they wanted their own team and got their hands on BrawnGP and Michael Schumacher, and all involved. We're talking big names, big investment, from A to Z. Mercedes did not 'just' make a decent engine for 2014, for Mclaren for example, and have success, no, they early on -surely after the spygate scandal, perhaps to bury that incident in the past and clear any smear on their name- focused on going all out. Looking at the success with BrawnGP in 2009 made them realize they didnt need Mclaren to achieve success. They probably also were already working on that V6T, and decided to invest more than the competition and do a Schumi-Ferrari. They had the right people there, including the legend himself. I also believe it was in their plan to sooner or later get Hamilton - A Mercedes protegé - aboard anyway. Whether that would be a Hamilton-Schumacher combo (which would be amazeballs), or planning to replace Der Schumi with Lewis anyway i dunno.
Either way, everything indicates that Mercedes really went in prepared to the teeth with a certain overkill if you may, and they're using every single bit of it while they still can.
The simple truth is, the other teams did not 'underestimate' the V6T engines, they did not 'lack', the simple truth is, Mercedes really went in much more than anybody probably ever did or expected to, including themselves. This left the competition on the back foot.
An example on this is really simple, it's not just the engine, it's the car, package and driver. RacingPoint copied the Mercs and that brought them sudden 'success', despite having the same engine the year before and being nowhere near.
In the end, Mercedes really pulled something extraordinary out of the hat. Applaud to them.
Also, let's not forget that Mercedes does not have a culture of blame, attack, bite and crush like it atleast seems is right back again at Ferrari.
Arrivabene just had settled things and then Binotto stirred the pot and turned it into a complete storm frenzy. I believe Renault could have had much improvement too if Abiteboul didn't do that 'cocky' and 'attack' character too.
Their 'beef' with RedBull imo is an example of character, and this immediately influences the entire team.
It's easier to be harmonious when your only challenger is the other car in your team. The team is composed of people, very good people to be sure, but all humans make mistakes, all humans feel pressure, and Mercedes has never been pushed to the brink. They've never had to battle their way to a title, it kind of falls in their lap with 3 or 4 races to go. Ferrari was a strong challenger in 2018 and 2017 but they imploded, and Red Bull proved to be too great a distraction.
I will be very surprised if Mercedes keeps the same advantage they had this year going on to next. Mercedes has to take a bigger step than they did from 2019 to 2020 on the engine side to not lose ground to Honda. If Mercedes only makes a similar step to 2020, 2021 Honda will close the gap. Which means the main difference will be down to chassis, Mercedes is bluffing, I'm sure they already recovered their downforce to early 2020 levels.
Red Bull ended 2020 with a car that was .6 seconds faster per lap by the end of the season, than when it started, and did so with only chassis developments. They also had the benefit of validating all their aerodynamic tweaks on track, so while they may not have been able to start work on 2021 early, RB is committed to it's aero concept and will simply further tweak the aero package, along with the packaging improvements the new Honda engine will bring.
While Mercedes had more time to design, their work was more virtual, and whereas RB has less time to design, their understanding of the current aero package has more track validation.
So let's say Mercedes loses .5 because of the aero changes, gains .3 from the engine, and recoups .3 for a net gain of .1
Red Bull loses .5 maybe .6 because everyone seems to think high rake will be a disaster. Then gains .4 from the engine, and gains .4 from the chassis and packaging improvements, for a net gain of .2
So the .3-.5 gap would become .2-.4, with one engine upgrade allowed and aero tweaks that gap can disappear by 1/4 season, and swing one way or the other by mid season. If RB doesn't lose more than Mercedes from the chassis, then the gap will essentially be non-existent.