Mercedes boss hopes ‘robbed’ Lewis Hamilton will continue racing
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Mercedes chief technical officer James Allison has called the newly-sanctioned regulations for the upcoming season ‘a box of treasures’ in an intriguing interview.
Allison, 53, joined Mercedes in 2017 after 25 years in the industry representing Ferrari and Renault.
His car designs have seen Mercedes win the last four Constructors’ Championships, whilst he also completed a clean sweep of seven straight titles from 2000 to 2006 with Ferrari and Renault.
But next season’s title may be the hardest one to win yet, according to the Lincolnshire-born leader.
New changes have been enforced by Formula One chiefs, majorly altering the aerodynamic concept of the cars – which will allow them to follow one another more closely and improve overtaking opportunities.
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And Allison claims that it is a “landmine” that will change the landscape drastically.
“We’ve been buried in them, and the reality of making them real for so long that it’s easy to forget sometimes just what a massive set of regulation changes these 2022 rules represent,” said Allison in a Mercedes video.
“I’ve been working in the sport for over 30 years and they dwarf anything else I’ve ever seen.
“I suspect if I were to dig out Wikipedia and go through every season of the sport there has ever been there would be nothing to match the scale of the change that comes with 2022.
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“The ruleset is not only enormous, the regulations are about twice the size of what’s preceded them, but they’re all almost entirely different to what came before them.
“That has meant we’ve had to reinvent the car tip to toe. Everywhere you look it’s completely new.”
Mercedes are unsure whether star driver Lewis Hamilton will be in their ranks after his agonising loss in 2021.
The Brit has yet to confirm his commitment to his team with the first race less than eight weeks away now.
But Allison has hardly reassured Hamilton that his car will be the best on the field due to the changes that have been implemented.
“Our job is to look for technical opportunity in regulations, then use our combined wit and skill, and all the effort we make collectively to try to find a configuration of car that will be better than anyone else’s approach to it,” he added.
“And when everything is as new as this, then everywhere you look in that regulation set – twice as thick as the old one – there is opportunity and, of course, there’s jeopardy.
“So we try to pick our way through the potential minefield, picking up all the little boxes of treasure that may be set in amongst the landmines to end up with a car we hope will see us pitching up at the front of the grid.”
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