Mercedes Team Principal James Allison has revealed that his team will introduce updates to its 2020 car, the W11 at the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.
Due to the uncertain situation regarding the coronavirus outbreak, Formula 1 and FIA have brought the sport’s traditional summer break forward and has also extended its duration to 63 days. The shutdown period meant that engineers and other team members whose work are associated with the performance of the car were unable to work.
However, following the shutdown, teams could return to their factories at the beginning of June which gave them time to carry on working on their 2020 cars. Moreover, most of the teams had updates in the pipeline for the original season-opening event, the Australian Grand Prix which they were unable to introduce due to the coronavirus outbreak.
In a video released on oil partner Petronas’ social media channel, James Allison has revealed that Mercedes will introduce updates at Spielberg when the delayed 2020 F1 season finally gets underway. The Briton said that the car version with which the Brackley-based had intended to start the season had been finalized last December.
"If you imagine where the launch car was and the car that would have gone to Australia, that was frozen around about Christmas. There was the whole of January, whole of February, March, all making the car quicker in the wind tunnel and also in the design departments.
"We got quite a lot of ideas about how to make it quicker, and quite a lot of those ideas were already in the process through the design office before we were forced to shut down nine weeks ago.”
While Haas indicated that it could freeze its car development programme due to the coronavirus-induced financial situation, top teams are under pressure to develop their current cars because the majority of the actual machines will be carried over for 2021. Allison added that his team will face the challenge of making sure that the updates that have been developed over a period of over three months work on the race track as expected.
"Our challenge now is to make sure that quarter of a year of development can get off the drawing boards and onto the car as swiftly as possible.”
"We hope to have a chunk of that for the first race in Austria, and the season that follows will of course take as much of the development as fast as we can get it onto the car in turn,” he concluded.