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Mercedes dealt 'baby and bathwater' design warning

Mercedes made changes to its technical management team ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix with James Allison and Mike Elliott swapping roles.

Mercedes' returning Technical Director James Allison has suggested a "wholesale revamp" of the W14's design philosophy would end with the team throwing away "an awful lot of baby along with a small amount of bathwater". Allison returned to the role he left to become Chief Technical Officer 20 months ago after a swap with Mike Elliott, with the Silver Arrows attempting to rediscover the competitiveness that saw it dominate F1 for eight years. The current car concept left the team with a small working window for set-up last season and despite improvements this year, the performance remains a distance from challenging Red Bull whilst the pecking order fluctuates with Aston Martin and Ferrari. Upgrades to the W14 are set to arrive at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola next month with 'visible change' promised to fans by Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin earlier this year.

You would never tear things up

But suggesting any changes would keep the current philosophy at heart, Allison told media, including RacingNews365.com : "I don't think any of us would ever consider a wholesale revamp clean sheet, a good or prosperous approach. "If the rules change, then of course, you have to change with them. But engineering is about iteration and in all likelihood, if you tear things up, you are going to - I’m going to mix metaphors horrifically here - but you are going to just throw away an awful lot of baby along with a small amount of bathwater. "All of these cars, from the top to the bottom of the grid, are unbelievably good cars. It’s merely a question of how competitive are you? Are you the best in the whole world? And necessarily, you are going to use the platform you have, and you're going to choose the paths forward that allow it to get better in the fastest possible way. "And almost never – in fact, never – would you ever tear things up and say ‘enough with that, let’s change and do something completely different'."

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