Allison: The worst of the ‘grim feeling’ is hopefully behind Mercedes

Mercedes technical director James Allison.

Mercedes technical director James Allison admits that this season has so far been another frustrating experience for the Brackley squad, although he is optimistic that the team has moved past the worst of its issues.

After struggling to adapt to the F1’s ground-effect regulations that were introduced in 2022, and winning just a single race in two seasons, Mercedes opted for a shift in design philosophy for its 2024 contender.

However, the gamble it took on in the hope of regaining its competitive edge hasn’t paid off yet. It’s W15 Silver Arrow has so far fallen short of delivering the expected results, leaving Mercedes in a lowly fourth place in F1’s Constructors’ standings after the first six races.

But Allison believes there are tangible signs that the German outfit is clawing its way back.

While the team’s struggles have been another bitter pill to swallow, the Briton believes the significant changes implemented over the winter were necessary and will ultimately pay off.

Read also:

“It’s always tough when a car isn’t where you want it to be. That is not an enjoyable situation,” Allison said, speaking in Imola on Friday.

“On the other hand, once you do start to get your head around it and start to move it forward, that then becomes extremely pleasurable.

“So hopefully we’ve got the worst of the grim feeling behind us and are now on the upward slope of that.


“From this last year to this, we shifted a few things that you definitely can’t shift in the middle of a season and you have to do across the winter. And I think those changes were helpful ones.

“I don’t really think there’s too much in terms of the hard points on the car, the stuff that takes a season that can only be changed across the winter, there aren’t too many things of those that are crying out for adjustment.

“Mostly it’s just a question of hard work to get ourselves in a more respectable place.”

One of the key areas of development for Mercedes has been improving the W15's performance across a wider range of corners.

While Imola might not be the most demanding test in that regard, the venue still provides a valuable opportunity to assess progress.


Allison acknowledged that the team has been a bit behind in addressing this issue. However, he's confident that the recent upgrades and ongoing development will show significant improvement in the coming races.

“This track is probably one of the easier ones in that regard because the range of cornering speed is not that high,” he explained.

“So it’s a thing that all of us face and I think we’ve been a little slower than others to address it. But I think that you’ll see over the coming races that that will be a thing that increasingly we put to bed.”

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter