Mercedes technical director James Allison says design overhauls for the W10 have been directly targeted at its weaknesses from last season as it aims to improve rear tyre performance and durability.

Despite dominating to the 2018 Formula 1 world titles, securing a historic fifth consecutive championship double, Mercedes were often exposed to poor rear tyre performance and conservation to its rivals.

The issue was a clear problem in pre-season testing which Mercedes struggled to fully rectify during the season due to the design of the W09.

Allison accepts an overhaul was required to avoid a similar problem this year with the W10 with key changes to its suspension setup and aerodynamics compared to its predecessor.

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“The handling of the W09 was a big improvement over the rather idiosyncratic W08,” Allison said. “We managed to be competitive at tracks which had plagued us in recent years.

“However, notwithstanding this improvement, we were still not as good as some of our competitors at preserving the performance of the rear tyres.

“We have worked hard on the suspension and aerodynamic characteristics to deliver a car that will be much kinder to its tyres - enough, we hope, to allow us to be competitive at all phases of the race and at each track on the calendar.”

Despite alterations to the W10, Allison says the general concept has been retained and refined compared to its 2018 F1 challenger.

“A close inspection will reveal that the execution of this concept has been further refined,” he said. “Every item is pushed tighter, made more slender - each change permitting us to improve the aerodynamic performance beyond what would have been possible had we accepted the physical limitations of the 2018 design.”

Mercedes are running a shakedown test of the W10 at Silverstone with Valtteri Bottas in the car this morning followed by Lewis Hamilton in the afternoon.

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