Mercedes says it is aiming to ready a development package in time for the season-opening Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix next month.
Formula 1’s delayed campaign is set to begin with the Austrian Grand Prix (July 3-5), almost four months after the initial first round of the season in Australia was cancelled.
Formula 1 teams have not run their 2020 cars in anger since the final day of pre-season testing in February while all factories were shut for 63 days.
But Mercedes, which is aiming for a record-breaking seventh straight title, is confident that ideas for its W11 can be produced in time for Formula 1’s opening event in two weeks’ time.
“We haven’t yet done a single race but actually quite a lot of time has passed since we launched this car,” Mercedes’ Technical Director James Allison said in a video released by the team.
“If you imagine where the launch car was, and the car that would have gone to Australia, that was frozen around about Christmas.
“So there was the whole of January, February, March, all making the car quicker in the wind tunnel and the design departments so we got quite a lot of ideas in how to make it quicker.
“Quite a lot of those ideas were already in train, in process, through the design office before we were forced to shut down, nine weeks ago, so our challenge now is to make sure that quarter of a year of development can get off the drawing board 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 as the development as fast as we can get it onto the car in turn.”
Allison added that “the first race in Austria feels desperately close and we are utterly paranoid now to use the few weeks we have ahead of us to make sure the interruption doesn’t throw us off our usual balance and poise.
“All of our efforts are around ramping that back up, turning the systems back on, making sure we’ve blown away the cobwebs and are fighting fit and ready to go by the time we hit Austria.”
Haas, meanwhile, says it is not planning any upgrades to its VF-20 amid financial uncertainty owing to the pandemic.