Mercedes F1 chief would love Red Bull ‘invite’ to ‘figure out’ radical innovation

Mercedes' F1 technical chief James Allison admits his side haven't "figured out" a design concept unique to Red Bull.

Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB20 - sidepod detail. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain, Day Two.-
Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB20 - sidepod detail. Formula 1…

Mercedes F1 technical director James Allison says he would love to have a closer inspection at Red Bull’s unique approach to their cooling system.

Red Bull’s new RB20 raised eyebrows when it was launched with several intriguing and aggressive concept tweaks compared to its dominant predecessor.

One of the most visually dramatic changes on the RB20 is the new engine cover bodywork that features a high waistline and full-length gulleys running the length of the car from the halo.

The design is reminiscent of Mercedes’ approach with their W14 challenger and there are whispers that Red Bull could move towards a full ‘zeropod’-style concept early in 2024.

Red Bull’s development has certainly caught the eye of rival teams, with Allison admitting Mercedes are yet to fully understand what the reigning world champions are up to. 

Allison joked that he would “deeply love” to be invited into Red Bull’s garage to delve into the inner workings of the RB20.

“Well, I would deeply love to be invited into the Red Bull garage and to take the engine cover off and delve around under those sort of ‘snorkelly’ things,” he told Sky F1.

“There’s definitely a different approach being taken there because what glimpses you see of their cooling system, it’s definitely not light and svelte.

“So they’re doing that for a reason, and I’d love to know what that reason is, but we haven’t figured it out yet.”

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain, Day Three.-, EMail:
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir,…

Mercedes are hoping their revamped W15 challenger will help them close the gap to Red Bull after enduring two difficult and frustrating campaigns.

Allison confirmed Mercedes have managed to solve one of the main problems that plagued the W14 - an unpredictable and snappy rear-end.

When asked if Mercedes have made the new W15 more drivable for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, Allison replied: "I think we largely have.

"Bouncing is still a threshold that all the cars in the pitlane will work up against until this generation of car moves onto something different.

“So there is still some bouncing we can bury ourselves in or come out of, just in pursuit of what the right performance compromise is.

“But the sort of horrid, snappy rear-end, that is happily not troubling us in the way that it did in the past.”

Allison added: "It is mostly mechanical changes on the car, but it is always a marriage between the aerodynamic behaviour through the corner and the suspension.”

Read More