Mercedes technical director James Allison says the team now has “clear indications” for its future Formula 1 development direction following the Bahrain Grand Prix.  

Lewis Hamilton claimed a fortuitous victory in Bahrain ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas as the reigning world champions recorded a second successive one-two finish to start the 2019 campaign in style. 

However, Mercedes had lagged behind Ferrari throughout the weekend and only moved into a position to win when a cruel engine issue robbed long-time race-leader Charles Leclerc late on, allowing Hamilton to capitalise. 

Allison admitted Mercedes felt “great relief” in the result after being outperformed by its chief rival, but insisted the German manufacturer knows what it needs to do to avoid further repeats. 

“A huge result for us," Allison said in Mercedes’ post-Bahrain Grand Prix debrief video. "And a great relief therefore on a weekend where we were not that competitive to come back with such a strong haul of points.

"To come back with those points and also to come back with clear indications of what we need to do, and the directions we need to take to develop our car so we will not suffer the same sort of problems that we had with it in Bahrain.

"And of course, our aim will be that over the course of the season, we bring enough performance to the car that even when we stumble slightly, we can still be out in front. 

"That's the aim of every team. But, it's one that we are determined to deliver on here and one that we have been reasonably good at over previous seasons.” 

In response to a question asking why Mercedes had been so strong in Melbourne, Allison said the team had been taken by surprise by the level of its performance compared to Ferrari at the 2019 season-opener.

"Probably the simplest answer is because this is a really, really difficult sport, where you have to get absolutely everything perfect if you want to have a weekend like you had in Melbourne,” he explained.

"We were immensely strong there and everything seemed to go our way. We'd expected a much tougher result in Australia, coming off of winter testing we expected perhaps even to be chasing a Ferrari in front of us.

"But instead we found ourselves flying in every session, in qualifying, in the race and in the free practice, and able to just effortlessly breeze out into the lead and get a really strong result.

"And then we go to Bahrain, and instead we find ourselves on the back foot. Where it had flown in Melbourne, we had a car instead that was a bit nervous at the rear end, which was a bit hard on its tyres, which was suffering a bit with overheating at the rear.

"All those things meant that we just lose a tenth or two here or there and compared to a Ferrari that seemed to be having in Bahrain the weekend that we had just two weeks earlier in Melbourne.”



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