Mercedes won’t be debuting a huge upgrade package at the second Formula 1 pre-season test like they did in 2019, technical boss James Allison has confirmed.
Last year Mercedes unveiled a W10 at the first test that bore very little resemblance to the car that was raced at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, having unveiled a major upgrade package – almost amounting to a B-spec car – at the second test.
This tactic, Allison explained, won’t be repeated in 2020 as the stable regulations means there is simply no need to do so.
“No, we will be more conventional this year,” he replied when asked about the ploy. “We will still have upgrades for Melbourne that will come in the second week of testing, but the entire new car approach of 2019 won’t feature.
“Last year, the regulations were changed quite significantly, and they were decided quite late in the year. Under those circumstances, doing a launch car and a week two car gave us the chance to build the maximum amount of learning into our Melbourne car.
“With the regulations being more mature this year and with the opening stab of the 2020 development already being at the same level as the finish of last year’s car, repeating last year’s approach would not make sense.”
Such is the stability of the rules, the cars will simply be evolutions of their predecessors – and Allison is therefore expecting more lap records to be broken during the course of the season.
“I love it when the cars set new records with each passing season. I really like the fact that records that have stood for many years have fallen in the last two and that Formula 1 cars of current generation have smashed every record that existed.
“I find it slightly sad to think that 2020 is likely to be a high-water mark for some years but I will just enjoy it while it lasts.”