Mercedes technical chief Paddy Lowe says that the team has tried to make a series of “minor revolutions” with its new W07 Formula 1 car due to the relative stability in the regulations for 2016.
Mercedes stormed to a second straight set of drivers’ and constructors’ championships in 2015 as the W06 car broke a number of records in the hands of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
With the technical regulations for 2016 remaining rather stable, finding more time and areas for improvement on the new car may prove difficult, but Lowe is confident that Mercedes has upped its game for the forthcoming season.
“It’s difficult to have a complete revolution when the rules have stayed pretty much the same year on year,” Lowe said. “But we aim to make minor revolutions wherever we can – even within a small context.
“We may look at a completely new packaging solution or suspension concept, for instance. So, while the car may look very similar to its predecessor from the outside – as is inherent within stable regulations – underneath there are quite a lot of mini revolutions that make up an overall evolution for the new season.”
Lowe was pleased that Mercedes’ engineers managed to find areas for improvement even in seemingly static areas of the car design.
“It’s very tough to find performance under a stable set of regulations and we were particularly pleased with how the car turned out in 2015 when we had the same situation,” Lowe said.
“The team did a fantastic job, digging very deep to find all sorts of innovations in areas that might have been considered static. 2016 is another carry-over year from a regulatory point of view and potential gains inevitably become harder to find under these circumstances.
“This is what tests an engineering team the most and I must say that this team has been very good at that. It’s far easier to find performance when you have a new set of rules, that’s for sure.”