Exclusive Mercedes look on track: F1 champions explain 'bold' W11

14 February 2020, 13:25 | Updated: 14 February 2020, 14:02

Mercedes have still had to be "bold" in the design of their new W11 car in order to stay ahead of their F1 rivals in the 2020 season, technical boss James Allison has told Sky Sports.

With the W11 running for the first time at Silverstone, Sky Sports News were given exclusive access from the pit lane as Valtteri Bottas took to the track during the team's shakedown.

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The W11 is the successor to six successive double title winners, with last year's W10 winning 15 of the season's 21 races. However, Mercedes have acknowledged that there were weaker areas in the car's design - particularly cooling - and Allison says regulation stability has not meant they can only search for small improvements.

"The regulations are the same so it's unlikely that there'll be a complete revolution," Allison said.

"However, the regulations being so similar means that we actually have to be quite bold if we want the car to be competitive."

Possessing the dominant engine in the early years of the hybrid engine era, Mercedes trailed Ferrari in the power stakes last year - and Allison says improved engine performance has inevitably been a focus for 2020.

"I think we would always want more of everything - it isn't a sport where you can focus on a single thing," said Allison.

"But there's no doubt that our friends at HPP [Mercedes High Performance Powertrains] will have felt the sting last year of seeing a Ferrari lauded for its straight-line speed.

"We all know that the straight-line speed is only one parameter, it's a mixture of both chassis set-up and PU, but that is one of the focuses we have had over the winter.

"It's lovely to see that HPP have had a great winter in that regard, getting both more horses but also for the third-year straight bending over backwards to give us a PU that will give us chassis opportunities by making it easier for us to make a fast car around it."

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