James Allison sets Mercedes’ targets for remainder of 2023

Mercedes W14, Lewis Hamilton - Red Bull RB19, Max Verstappen - Ferrari SF-23, Carlos Sainz.
2023 Australian Grand Prix, Friday - Jiri Krenek

Mercedes technical director James Allison has explained the ambitions of the team for the remainder of 2023 as he takes the helm of development for the Silver Arrows.

The Mercedes W14 started the year in a difficult fashion, unable to compete with Red Bull and arguably slower than both Aston Martin and Ferrari.

Seeing a customer team like Aston Martin become established as the second-fastest team was a difficult pill for the Brackley-based squad to swallow.

However, the Australian GP was a positive step for Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton capable of keeping Fernando Alonso at bay throughout the race.

Mercedes remains several steps away from fighting for the Championships, but podium finishers are certainly within reach despite the W14’s early deficiencies.

Mercedes W14, George Russell 63

Mike Elliot losing the title of technical director has been anticipated for some time, given that Elliot was under the spotlight immediately after the first round of the season.

Significant changes have been suggested by team principal Toto Wolff, who is quite clear in his belief that a change in the development path is necessary.

James Allison’s appointment is regarded as Mercedes’ solution to the foundational issues with the W14, many of which were present last season.

Speaking to The Race, Allison has explained the weaknesses and strengths Mercedes must focus on:

“It’s reliable, touch wood. That’s a definite strength. It’s got a very quick pair of punters pedalling it around.

“It’s better than most of the grid out there. But until it’s the quickest one, it will always feel like a worn car to all of us…

“I’m trying not to think really in those terms. Just concentrating on what are the areas of opportunity on the car.

“But we’re completely realistic about the significant performance of Red Bull, and particularly Max. 

“They’re going to be extremely worthy opposition to hunt down and in due course.”