James Allison says ‘zero sidepod’ did not cause Mercedes’ ‘slump’

© Daimler AG

Mercedes’ Technical Director James Allison says the team’s ‘zero sidepod’ design was “by no means the definitive factor” that “sealed our fate”.

Back in 2022 Mercedes introduced its innovative ‘zero sidepod’ design, but it did not prove to be successful, and the team proceeded to struggle with its performance for the next two years.

Asked by Sky Sports if the team regrets sticking with the “concept” in 2023, Mercedes’ Technical Director James Allison disagreed that this design choice was the main reason for the team’s ‘slump’.

“Well, I don’t quite see the world the same way you guys do, looking at a sidepod and deciding that’s a concept,” the Briton said.

“We definitely took a path with our car and I would say that’s from the tip of the nose to the very back of the tail which was not a competitive one.

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“The most visually noticeable aspect were our sidepods of course, but by no means the definitive factor.

“It was not right from front to back and that’s the thing we’ve had to learn and have to deal with.

“That’s taken us longer than we would have liked, but the sidepods are maybe emblematic of a team that took too long to figure out which way was up.

“But [they were by] no means the distinguishing feature that sealed our fate,” Allison concluded.

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