Mercedes banishes ‘horrid’ problem but other key issue remains

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Mercedes Technical Director James Allison believes the team has eradicated the “horrid” rear-end issues that plagued its previous two cars.

The new W15 hit the track with promise during F1’s three-day pre-season test at the Bahrain International Circuit, the car becoming more drivable as Lewis Hamilton, George Russell and the engineers got to grips with the new concepts on show.

Mercedes’ design philosophy has taken a new direction after the issues associated with its original zeropod concept in 2022, with the carryover into last year proving to be an error of judgement.

One of the biggest issues for Hamilton and Russell was a lack of confidence in the car due to a lack of rear compliance – a lack of grip giving inconsistent feeling to the drivers.

But this has now seemingly been remedied with the W15, as Allison explained at the conclusion of testing.

‘Right performance compromise’

Asked whether the team’s issues from last year had been solved, Allison told Sky Sports F1: I think we largely have.

“Bouncing is still a threshold that all the cars in the pitlane will work up against until this generation of car moves onto something different. So there is still some bouncing we can bury ourselves in or come out of, just in pursuit of what the right performance compromise is.

“But the horrid, snappy rear end, that is happily not troubling us as it did in the past.”

On how the results had been achieved, Allison added: “It is mostly mechanical changes on the car, but it is always a marriage between the aerodynamic behaviour through the corner and the suspension.”

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