Mercedes AMG Petronas says it won’t assume it will still retain a performance advantage over its rivals coming into the belated 2020 F1 World Championship season opener in Austria after confirming a raft of upgrades to the W11.

With the opening rounds of the 2020 F1 World Championship season pushed back by more than four months, F1 responded by moving the summer break to an earlier date and extending the period.



Nonetheless, while Mercedes looked to have established a comfortable margin over closest rivals Red Bull Racing during pre-season testing, it hasn’t rested on its laurels during the period back to work with technical chief James Allison saying a more developed version of the W11 will bow at the Red Bull Ring on July 3-5.

“We haven’t yet done a single race, but actually quite a lot of time has passed since we launched this car,” said Mercedes technical boss James Allison.

“And if you imagine where the launch car was and the car that would’ve gone to Australia, that was frozen around about Christmas so there was the whole of January, the whole of February, March – all making the car quicker in the wind tunnel and also in the design departments.

Nonetheless, making sweeping changes to a quick car without the benefit of track running brings its own trepidation with Allison very intrigued to whether the W11 in the hands of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas can get straight up to speed quickly.

“So our challenge now is to make sure that 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.”

“Although it might feel distant to all the fans of the sport who are hungry for that on-track action, the first race in Austria feels desperately close for us,”

“So we’re utterly paranoid now, to use the few weeks we have ahead of us to make sure that the interruption doesn’t throw us off our normal balance and poise, and that we do get everything back up to the sort of ramming speed that we had at the end of winter testing and prior to the first race of the normal season.

“So all of our efforts are around ramping that back up, turning all the systems back on and making sure we’ve blown away all the cobwebs and that we’re fighting fit and good to go by the time we hit Austria.”



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