Mercedes is keeping certain elements of its W12 a secret for as long as possible, with technical director James Allison refusing to divulge where it has spent its two development tokens.
The reigning Formula 1 World Champions are the latest team to unveil their 2021 challenger, which they hope will guide them to an eighth consecutive Constructors’ and Drivers’ championship.
It was clear to see that the black liveried car shown off on Tuesday was very much a ‘launch-spec’ car, with covers hiding the floor, which is a major area of development following the FIA’s decision to cut downforce levels by reducing its surface area.
This area isn’t however regulated by development tokens, but Allison is refusing to say where they have spent their allocation, insisting all will “become clear”.
“The rules freeze a large chunk of the car, but then give each team two tokens to spend on changing their car,” he explained.
“How teams decided what to use their tokens on was entirely up to them – they could implement two smaller changes for one token each or use both tokens at once for one large change.
“We have spent our tokens, but we won’t reveal how we used them just yet,” he added. “That’ll become clear in good time.”
Tokens aside, Allison says the team have been afforded additional opportunities to develop certain areas of their car due to the increased weight allowance and the banning of DAS, which has freed up weight.
“The rest of the aerodynamic work has been the normal fare of seeking out aerodynamic opportunity across every square centimetre of the car with particular attention to finding places where we can invest extra weight into fancier aerodynamic geometry,” he added.
“2021 permits the cars to be 6kg heavier, and we have an additional few kilos to spend as a result of DAS being banned.”