Mercedes says new F1 rules for 2014 give it chance to excel
|By Edd Straw||Monday, January 27th 2014, 14:28 GMT|
Mercedes' status as a works team means it is well-placed to capitalise on Formula 1's major rule change in 2014, according to its technical chief Paddy Lowe.
The new Mercedes will be launched at Jerez on the opening day of pre-season testing on Tuesday following a behind-closed doors shakedown at Silverstone last Friday.
Lowe, the team's executive director (technical), believes that the need for an all-new car built around the Mercedes 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged engine is a big opportunity for his squad to excel.
This is because it is able to develop the car and engine together at its team base at Brackley and Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains at Brixworth.
"It is such a great opportunity to take those regulations and to show that we can do better than others within that framework," Lowe told AUTOSPORT.
"It is great that we are back to more of a 'whole car' programme and in that context the collaboration between the two companies at Brixworth and Brackley to produce a total solution is fantastic."
WORKS TEAM ADVANTAGE
Lowe warned that while Mercedes is well-placed, all three engine manufacturers have had the chance to develop their car and power unit together with a lead team.
"There is certainly that opportunity, but that opportunity isn't denied to any of the other manufacturers," he said when asked if the team's status as a works team would give it the edge.
"Inevitably, the engine manufacturer will want to focus their efforts primarily on one team in terms of bringing the best solution and collaborating on development and testing.
"So that's us with HPP, but Ferrari also has that opportunity as they are co-located.
"Renault also has that opportunity, although I am not sure how they have chosen to deploy it.
"So we are not unique in that but it certainly is an advantage relative to other customers."
NO ROOM FOR COMPLACENCY
Lowe added that a strong showing in pre-season testing could mean less than ever before.
He anticipates a rapid rate of development in 2014, meaning that the competitive order will ebb and flow as the months go on.
"Even more than ever, there is no room for complacency," said Lowe.
"If we happen to look good at Jerez, that doesn't mean much. If we happen to look good three weeks later [in Bahrain], that doesn't mean much.
"And if we happen to look good in Australia, that doesn't mean much because it will be a very dynamic season in terms of people's progress.
"If somebody is in a lot of trouble, they should be able to recover and come back again, and vice versa.
"It's a situation where you have to push and fight through to the end."
AUTOSPORT Live will cover the Jerez F1 test as it happens from Tuesday morning