F1 teams are currently finalizing their car designs for 2022 ahead of the first pre-season test to be held in Barcelona, Spain from February 23-25.
The new designs are a complete overhaul of the regulations, with the ground effect challengers aiming at improving racing and closing the grid.
But while it’s too early to make any predictions about the pecking order, Allison believes the magnitude of the rules overhaul makes it inevitable that not everyone will get their new designs right.
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And he suggests that some outfits are in for a tough year if their interpretation of the new rules is wrong.
In a Mercedes video previewing the 2022 rules, Allison said: “Everyone on our team, and everyone on every other team, will have gone out of our way to try and find a design and approach that works well here. new regulations have been introduced.
“And we will all find out together at the start of this season, in the races that unfold from there, exactly how that plays out.
“I can imagine that given the cars are so new and so different, one or two cars on the starting grid will be very wrong. And they’re going to have a terribly painful year.
“I imagine we’ve all put things on the table to some degree that we just didn’t expect. And we’ll look at other cars and think, ‘oh, why didn’t we think of that?’
“Then we scramble around to try and get that idea into our car as fast as we can so we can make our way forward from whatever position we land in that first race. Or, if we’re lucky enough to be up front, keep the attacking wolves behind us.
“It will be quite a rush and definitely something that will save us all from getting too much sleep throughout the season.”
Photo By: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
While Mercedes has the most to lose from the rule change, having won the Constructors’ Championship every year since 2014, Allison says the German manufacturer is actually excited by the challenge that has been presented.
“When the regulations change to such an extent as this, we approach it with all the fun and taste that challenge deserves,” he said.
“Our job is to look for technical possibilities and regulations, and then use our combined acumen and skill and all the effort we put in together to try to find a car configuration that is better than anyone else’s approach.
“When everything is as new as this, you look everywhere in those regulations, [which is] twice as thick as the old one, there is a chance.
“There is a chance. And of course there is danger, and we try to make our way through the potential minefield and pick up all the little boxes of treasure that might be among the landmines, only to end up with a car that we hope will see us pitching at the front of the grid.”