Mercedes chief technical officer James Allison says the team’s British Grand Prix update package delivered, allowing them to “close some ground” to chief title rivals Red Bull.
Mercedes went into the Silverstone race on the back of five consecutive race defeats, with Red Bull opening an impressive 47-point lead in the Constructors’ Championship.
In an effort to turn their fortunes around and begin to claw back some of that deficit, Mercedes introduced an upgrade package to its W12 for Lewis Hamilton’s home race, which saw him take Pirelli’s ‘Speed King Award’ for topping Q1 – which would traditionally have given Hamilton pole position had it not been for a format shake-up which included a Sprint event.
Although Verstappen won the Sprint event to take pole for Sunday’s race, Hamilton would go on to win the race following a first lap crash.
Allison was happy with Mercedes’ performance over the weekend and although difficult to quantify, he believes the upgrade package had the desired effect.
“We brought a decent aero package to the track, we definitely saw an improvement in our performance and we were very happy with it,” he explained. “Whether the performance was a little bit more or a little bit less than we imagined is really hard to tell because you don’t get the luxury of performing a controlled experiment.
“You don’t run the old package and the new package several times doing back-to-back tests with fresh tyres each time, because the weekend just doesn’t give you that luxury. Nevertheless you do and are able to make some comparison because you make measurements on the car with all the sensors and you can compare back to the weekends before and look at the performance of the car before and compare to the one that you had this weekend.
“It did all seem to be behaving very well and if you then look at the stop watch, you could seen that just relative to the field we had moved forward this weekend, we were able to close some ground on Red Bull and we were able to have a more competitive weekend as a result.
“So, we came home from the weekend pretty chipper about the upgrade.”
The package is Mercedes’ first upgrade since the opening race of the season and whilst the team has switched its focus to 2022, there may still be some small updates in the pipeline for 2021.
“Here and there but the vast sort of, the main industrial effort of our development programme, that was the last big package that we will bring this year but there will be a few tweaks here and there where we can see efficiently that we can bring some performance without distracting us from the big effort that is now going into next year’s car.”