Mercedes technical chief James Allison has warned that there is potential for a couple of Formula 1 teams to get it "really badly wrong" with their approach to the overhauled regulations being introduced in 2022.
F1 is preparing to head into a new era with cars that feature a 'ground effect' aerodynamic concept, vastly different bodywork and 18-inch tyres, among many other changes – all aimed at improving the on-track action.
Some F1 teams could get things "really badly wrong"
Given the extent of the changes, Allison - Chief Technical Officer for Mercedes - says he would not be surprised to see some teams get caught out.
"I would imagine, given that the cars are so new and so different, that one or two cars on the grid will have got it really badly wrong, and that they will have a terribly painful year," said Allison in a video released by Mercedes, headlined 'Road to 2022'.
"I would imagine that all of us to some degree will have left things on the table that we just didn't anticipate, and we will look at other cars and think, 'Oh, why didn't we think of that?'
"Then we'll be scrabbling around to try and get that idea onto our car as fast as possible, so that we can claw our way - from whatever position we land in that first race - forward. Or, if we're lucky enough to be in front, to keep the attacking wolves behind us!
"It's going to be quite a rush and definitely something that's going to keep us all from having too much sleep for the whole of the season."
Working through the minefield to find the treasure
Allison went on to describe the new regulations as "incredibly hard" to deal with, even though Mercedes are enjoying the challenge.
"When the regulations change in such large measure as these ones, then we approach that with all the fun and relish that that challenge deserves," he commented.
"Our job is to look for technical opportunity in regulations, and then use our combined wit and skill, and all the effort that we make collectively, to try to find a configuration of car that will be better than anyone else's approach to it.
"When everything is as new as this, then everywhere you look in that regulation set, [which is] twice as thick as the old one, there's opportunity, and of course there's jeopardy.
"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 that we hope will see us pitching at the front of the grid."
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