There is an unusual break at the start of the 2023 Formula 1 season owing to the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix. The four week period between Melbourne and Baku is usually reserved for midway through the season, when the teams take part in an enforced shut down. But with the unprecedented gap taking place after just three races, does this have any effect on the team’s ability to develop the cars? The simple answer is: Yes. Teams will be able to run their wind tunnels and simulations throughout this working period like any other. Teams not limited on working time Mercedes Chief Technical Officer, James Allison, elaborated on how much work the teams will do in this important period between races. “What will we be doing? We are working as hard as we can in the wind tunnel to find more downforce,” said Allison. “We will be working as hard as we can in the drawing office to convert the things that the wind tunnel found a few weeks ago into performance that we deliver to the track.” “We will be working in the drawing office also to bring some mechanical parts to the car, some different suspension components that we think will help the underlying balance of the car and make it a more driveable thing, making it something that the drivers have more confidence to push right to the limits. “And we will be working on the normal sort of simulation loop and routine that allow us to prepare for the race weekends that are coming up, making sure that we land the car in the right place when we get to the race.” It goes to show how important the weeks in between races are crucial to extracting the last bits of performance.

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