F1 year to be painful for some: Mercedes

Mercedes say teams face a moment of truth when the F1 season starts in Bahrain under new regulations
Mercedes say teams face a moment of truth when the F1 season starts in Bahrain under new regulations

Mercedes hope they will be well prepared for the 2022 Formula One season, in which technical director James Allison is forecasting "a terribly painful year" for teams who get their car "really badly wrong."

F1 is belatedly introducing its game-changing new regulations this year, shaking up the sport after an epic 2021 season.

The 2022 car has been designed with the aim to end the dominance of any one team and ensure closer racing.

Mercedes, whose Lewis Hamilton was agonisingly pipped to the title by Max Verstappen in the previous campaign, will expect to again be at the forefront of a title tussle, but Allison recognises some outfits will be caught out.

The price for making mistakes this year is a significant one, he believes, and much will be revealed at the opening round in Bahrain in March.

"Everyone in our team, and everyone in every other team, will have done our level best to try to find a design and an approach that will be a happy match to this new regulation set," Allison said in a video posted by Mercedes.

"And we'll all get to find out together at the start of this season, in the races that unfold from there, exactly how that shakes out.

"I would imagine, given that the cars are so new and so different, that one or two cars on the grid will have got it really badly wrong. And they will have a terribly painful year.

"I would imagine that all of us to some degree will have left things on the table that we just didn't anticipate. And we will look at other cars and think, 'Oh, why didn't we think of that?'

"Then we'll be scrambling around to try to get that idea onto our car as fast as possible, so that we can claw our way, from whatever position we land in that first race, forwards. Or, if we're lucky enough to be in front, to keep the attacking wolves behind us.

"It's going to be quite a rush and definitely something that's going to keep us all from having too much sleep for the whole of the season."

George Russell is joining Hamilton at Mercedes this year, replacing Valtteri Bottas after impressing with Williams.

Australian Associated Press