Merc chief Allison thinks Verstappen would side with him over F1 rules criticism

Mercedes technical director James Allison believes the current ground effect rules aren’t “a great thing” for F1 - an opinion he thinks reigning world champion Max Verstappen would agree with.
James Allison (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 Chief Technical Officer. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 17, Singapore Grand Prix,
James Allison (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 Chief Technical Officer. Formula 1…

F1 introduced entirely new technical regulations for the start of 2022 in a bid to improve the wheel-to-wheel racing between competitors. 

While that aspect has been improved, the cars have become heavier and wider, but also stiffer, making them less satisfying to drive.

Allison isn’t a fan of the current set of regulations, describing it as a “bug-bear of mine”.

“I'm sure I bang on about this because it's been a bug-bear, of mine, but I personally don't think it's a great thing,” Allison said. 

“I don't think it's good having the cars operating, when they leave the garage, with that much space to the ground.

“You get the person who's winning the championship by one of the biggest margins ever, and has every reason to love his car to bits, and I doubt he'll tell you it's a lovely thing. It is not like it was a couple of years ago.”

It’s in stark contrast to the era of cars which saw Mercedes regularly compete at the front.

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB19 leads Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB19 leads Lewis Hamilton (GBR)…

As explained by Allison, the cars from 2021 would run between 120mm to 140mm from the ground compared to just 60mm in F1 2023.

“You guys [the media] used to carry on endlessly about high-rake, low-rake cars as if that was the beginning, end, and middle of everything,” he added.

“A high-rake car was around 140mm [rear ride height]. A low-rake car would be like 120mm or whatever. Well, both of them are stratospheric ranges compared with these cars.  

“These are all cars that are setting off in the 60mms. There might be a few millimetres of difference between them, but they're all just on the ground.”  

“And it's hard to persuade the car to do all of those things with a set of rules that basically don't want to do anything except be near the ground.” 

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