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Mercedes explain how they balanced 2021 title fight with 2022 development

Mercedes have described the challenge of juggling a fierce 2021 championship battle with the development of their 2022 car for F1's all-new technical regulations.

Hamilton Verstappen USA start
To news overview © Mercedes

Mercedes Technical Director Mike Elliott has admitted that the team faced a "big challenge" in deciding how much resource to split between their title-contending 2021 season and the 2022 regulation overhaul.

Mercedes went head-to-head with Red Bull for championship glory last season, with both the Drivers' and Constructors' titles settled at the very last round of the campaign.

While Mercedes managed to clinch an eighth successive Constructors' crown, they were also wary of neglecting the development of their upcoming W13, which has been built for F1's new era of competition.

How Mercedes balanced 2021 vs 2022 development

Speaking in the second part of the team's 'Road to 2022' explainer videos, Elliott described the balancing act Mercedes faced.

"One of the biggest difficulties with developing this [2022] car has been about how much resource we could put into it," said Elliott.

"Last year, we were fighting for a championship and we needed to make sure that we did a good job with that, and we also did a good job with this year's car – that was a big challenge.

"Particularly now the regulations are such that we've got a cost cap, [and] we've also got very limited runs in the wind tunnel, so we had to choose really carefully what resource we spent on the '21 car versus what resource we spent on the '22 car.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing how the car goes."

Mercedes optimistic over their 2022 chances

Elliott is hopeful that, when the new F1 season gets underway, the W13 will be running at the head of the field.

"In a normal year, you've got a pretty good idea of what you need to find over the winter," Elliott continued.

"With a brand new set of regulations, who knows what's gonna turn up? Who knows what the competition will have brought? Hopefully, we've brought enough that we'll be out in front."

As for the wider impact of the new rules, Elliott added: "I think for us as engineers, it's about the engineering challenge and [thinking] 'What can we bring? How can we compete with our opposition?'

"I guess standing back as a fan and looking from the outside in, what we want is great racing. We want to entertain the fans, we want them to enjoy what they see and, hopefully, this new set of regulations brings about some really good racing."

Mercedes will launch their new car on 18 February, with Lewis Hamilton being joined by George Russell at the team for 2022.

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: Why F1 2022 could be the most exciting season ever

With huge changes being made to the F1 rule book for 2022, our journalists Dieter Rencken, Mike Seymour and Thomas Maher look ahead to the new season.


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