Mercedes’ former technical director James Allison has revealed the specific areas Mercedes hope to rectify to improve Lewis Hamilton’s comfort in its 2023 Formula 1 car.
Although Hamilton claimed the German marque’s first podium of the year in Australia, the Brit admitted after the race that he is still lacking the confidence to push a capricious W14 package to the limit.
The seven-time World Champion has been beaten in qualifying in all three rounds this season by his younger team-mate George Russell.
Allison, however, says Mercedes plan to work on updates that will enhance the driveability of its car, which includes altering some suspension components to address the overall balance.
“The simple answer is: Yes, of course we are,” he answered when asked if the teams are allowed to develop across the Easter break.
“There are two official break periods for the sport where we are not allowed to develop the car and those are in the summer and then new for this year also at Christmas. But the Easter break is a working period like any other.
“What will we be doing? Well, we will be doing the normal things,” he continued.
“We are working as hard as we can in the wind tunnel to find more downforce, we will be working as hard as we can in the drawing office to convert the things that the wind tunnel found a few weeks ago into performance that we deliver to the track.
“We will be working in the drawing office also to bring some mechanical parts to the car, some different suspension components that we think will help the underlying balance of the car and make it a more driveable thing, making it something that the drivers have more confidence to push right to the limits.
“And we will be working on the normal sort of simulation loop and routine that allow us to prepare for the race weekends that are coming up, making sure that we land the car in the right place when we get to the race.”
Once the early mid-season hiatus comes to an end, the 2023 season will recommence with the Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the end of April.
While many teams plan to utilise the extended break to work on producing upgrades, the proposition of a Sprint Race weekend in Baku will leave them with only one practice session ahead of qualifying to correlate any new parts.
The last Sprint formatted weekend to take place in 2022 witnessed the dominant Red Bull squad go the wrong way on set-up, opening the door for Mercedes to score its sole win of the year.
“That will be a big deal at Baku, it’s the first sprint race of the weekend,” Allison said.
“Sprint races really reward the teams that can land there with a starting setup that is pretty on the money and ready to go in qualifying because the time is really compressed in a sprint race weekend.
“Those are the things we will be working on and hopefully we work well and strong and have a good showing when we show up in Baku in just a few weeks’ time.
Despite Red Bull’s huge advantage over the field, Christian Horner has been overly critical of the decision to host the first of six Sprint events this season around the Baku Street circuit.
A new format is set to be trialled that will see two separate qualifying sessions set the grid for the Saturday afternoon Sprint and Sunday’s main race.