Mercedes has recently announced its plan to introduce a new car concept in 2024. This decision comes after struggling to tame the “capricious beast” that is the W14 with its current sidepods architecture. The team acknowledges the need for a change to better align the car’s performance with its narrow operating window. However, despite this upcoming shift, the 2025 cars are expected to be closely related to the ones hitting the track next year. The future holds new engine rules and a transition to active aerodynamics, which will necessitate significant research and development. Consequently, Mercedes predicts that the 2025 cars will be evolutionary “close cousins” to their predecessors.
James Allison, Mercedes’ technical director, emphasizes the critical nature of a strong start to the 2024 season. He agrees with Lewis Hamilton, the team’s driver, who recently stated that the next six months will be crucial in determining whether Mercedes can make a comeback in the constructors’ championship. Allison points out that a strong start is particularly essential because the success of the 2024 season will significantly impact the design of the 2025 car. With 2026 looming on the horizon, Mercedes will have to engineer a new car in 2025 to comply with the changing engine rules and the introduction of active aerodynamics. Given the expected evolutionary nature of the 2025 cars, it becomes doubly important for Mercedes to ensure the 2024 car performs well.
Allison believes that Mercedes will not have to wait long to gauge the performance of their 2024 car. Drawing from his experience, he highlights that initial driver feedback during the opening laps of testing often serves as a reliable indicator of the entire season’s trajectory. When a car is well-designed, drivers usually convey their confidence in the vehicle’s potential. While they may not explicitly say “Spend your bonus,” their feedback signals that the car has the capability to perform at its best. Unlocking a car’s potential does not take long if it is born with the right attributes and characteristics. This will undoubtedly be the aim of Mercedes with their forthcoming 2024 car.
As Mercedes prepares to introduce a new car concept in 2024 and looks ahead to the evolutionary nature of its future cars, the team realizes the significance of a strong start to the upcoming season. With the need to engineer a 2025 car that will align with new engine regulations and active aerodynamics, the performance and development of the 2024 car will greatly impact its successor. Mercedes, understanding the importance of a well-designed and well-performing car, believes that the initial feedback from drivers during testing is indicative of the season to come. By placing emphasis on a strong start, Mercedes aims to lay the foundation for a successful future.