How Mercedes have already prepared for 2022 whilst Red Bull are behind the curve

08-01-2021 19:30
F1 News
How Mercedes have already prepared for 2022 whilst Red Bull are behind the curve

The victory from Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was immediately downplayed by some. Mercedes stopped developing their car a long time ago. That is partly true, of course, and we may see some more of that in the next two years.

Mercedes arrived in Mugello (mid-season) with the latest significant aerodynamic update with a completely new front wing. Since then there have been minor adjustments, but it was obvious that Mercedes would not be updating their car further. Their car was so dominant that they were comfortably crowned World Champions.

Red Bull Racing tries to transfer the development of 2020

Red Bull Racing did work hard on the RB16 until the very end. They started the season with a very unstable rear end and had to come up with quite a lot of adjustments well into the season to fix this. They say they can take most of this development forward to 2021, but there is a risk that they have already given Mercedes a lead for the next two seasons.

Mercedes are in fact anticipating the new rules. From this year on, the top teams will have less and less time to spend in the wind tunnel. That is where Mercedes will suffer the most, and so they started developing the 2021 car at an early stage.

Spending as little time as possible on 2021

However, 2021 is only an interim year. For the changes to the 2022 regulation changes, a completely new car has to be built and if they miss the jump, teams may suffer for years to come. In order to give teams with a smaller budget a fairer chance, one should not start the development of this car earlier than last New Year's Day.

Most teams will therefore have to divide their time between the car for 2021 and the car for 2022. As Mercedes have already done much of the work on the 2021 car last year, they hope to be able to pay extra attention to the 2022 car. So if Mercedes gets off to a good start in 2021, the competition will have an immediate problem for 2022.

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