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Mercedes

Allison: Questions about Elliott show a 'lack of F1 understanding'

The newly reappointed Mercedes Technical Director defended his predecessor in the role, Mike Elliott.

James Allison
Article
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James Allison says the idea that he won't have influence on Mercedes until the 2024 car "lack understanding" of how Formula 1 works after he replaced Mike Elliott.

Allison resumed his role as Technical Director having swapped roles with now Chief Technical Officer Elliott in April in a job-swap that both men felt would best suit their particular skillsets.

It came after the team committed to abandoning the 'zero sidepod' concept which had become inextricably linked with Elliott's directorship.

However, Allison highlighted the effort of all those at the factory instead of the team's fortunes being placed in the hand of just himself or Elliott.

Allison explains Mercedes thinking

With the 2023 championships already set to be won by Red Bull, much of Mercedes' attention for the remainder of this year will be on getting the 2024 W15 machine into a competitive position - something the planned Imola upgrade was intended to start the process of.

However, Allison says it is not only down to his or Elliott's efforts as Technical Director.

"I think that sort of question is often asked in one form or another, and it betrays – forgive me – it betrays a certain lack of understanding of how our factories actually work," he said when asked if his influence would not be seen until the W15.

"I mean, our factories, the [F1] grid’s factories, it's many hundreds of people, a thousand-plus people in some cases. You don't have one person's hand on a car, it's just not how it works at all.

"Each person puts their shoulder to the wheel, and if the whole place is well set-up and well organised, that wheel turns more and more effectively.

"Even the great Adrian Newey would probably tell you that if you pinned him down hard enough, it is a very big team effort.

"And when I say that Mike and I would be slightly stronger, as a pairing, the other way around, it means that we're able to put our respective shoulders to that wheel slightly more effectively, and help it turn just a little bit faster.

"I hope that that shoulder that I'm placing on that wheel will help from this point forward, and not a W14/W15 thing. But it is just a big team effort, the whole thing.

"If you go off Melbourne, I think we were arguably the second quickest car there, but if you look at Bahrain, we were fourth quickest.

"I think we're on an improving trend, but the tracks are quite different in the opening phase of this year and it's a little too early to tell.

"What I do know is that there is all manner of opportunity to improve the car. And that we intend to do that."

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