Mercedes: Creating 'fertile' areas for development a key aim with the W11

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Mercedes say creating new "fertile" areas for development was a key aim with the new W11 car that was launched on Friday.

This season sees the Brackley-based team attempt an unprecedented seventh consecutive double championship, and they would take the first step by shaking down the 2020 car in a filming day at Silverstone.

Having dominated the first half of last year, Mercedes took the chance to switch focus to this year's design a little earlier than perhaps expected.

And while most believe coming up with a new car simply means adding performance, technical director James Allison explained that wasn't the only goal.

"The regulations have stayed largely the same for the new year, so for us, it was all about trying to make sure that we don't run out of development steam on a package that worked pretty well for us last year," he said via

"We wanted to change aspects of the concept of the car - aspects that would be completely impossible to change within a season - to give us a more fertile platform for the new season.

“We tried to make a few well-chosen architectural changes to keep the development slope strong even though the regulations are now a little bit longer in the tooth."

Going through the main changes, Allison continued: “At the front, we have accepted more structural complexity around the [suspension] uprights and wheel rims in order to provide a higher performance assembly overall.

"In the middle of the car, we have followed the pitlane trend by moving our upper side impact tube to the lower position and banking the aerodynamic gain that comes with this layout.

“At the rear of the car, we have gone for an adventurous suspension layout in order to free up an aerodynamic development opportunity.

“All three investments were improvements in their own right, but their real effect is to mobilise a raft of secondary aerodynamic gains both during the winter and, we hope, across the season to come."

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Last year, Mercedes caught the grid off-guard by waiting until the second test to introduce their full package which then proved so dominant in the early races.

However, with a reduced number of testing days from eight to six, plus rules stability unlike 12 months ago, that won't be the case this time.

"We will still have upgrades for Melbourne that will come in the second week of testing, but the 'entire new car' approach of 2019 won't feature," Allison confirmed.

"Last year, the regulations were changed quite significantly, and they were decided quite late in the year.

“Under those circumstances, doing a 'launch' car and a 'week two' car gave us the chance to build the maximum amount of learning into our Melbourne car.

“With the regulations being more mature this year and with the opening stab of the 2020 development already being at the same level as the finish of last year's car, repeating last year's approach would not make sense.”