Mercedes reveal first details of W15 F1 2024 car with ‘pretty ambitious’ target set

Oliver Harden
Mercedes W13 nose cone with rain drops

Mercedes will unveil the W15 at Silverstone.

Mercedes technical director James Allison hopes the team can be in with “a shout” of winning the F1 2024 World Championship after establishing “a pretty ambitious program” for the new W15 car. 

After winning a record eight Constructors’ titles from the start of F1’s V6 hybrid era in 2014, Mercedes have managed just a single grand prix victory since the ground effect regulations were introduced in 2022.

Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time World Champion and the most successful driver in F1 history with more than a 100 pole positions and victories to his name, remains without a win since the penultimate round of the 2021 season in Saudi Arabia.

Mercedes issue update on W15 car for F1 2024 season

Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell, meanwhile, has yet to add to his maiden victory achieved at the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Mercedes opted to retain the divisive zero-pod car concept for the start of this year, only to decide to abandon it after one race following a poor performance in Bahrain.

The team introduced a heavily revised chassis in Monaco in May, but made only marginal progress over the rest of the season and battled over the line to finish in second place in the Constructors’ standings ahead of Ferrari.

Despite the dominance of Red Bull and Max Verstappen, who secured a third consecutive World Championship in 2023 with a record 19 victories form a possible 22 races, Mercedes remain hopeful of returning to title contention next year.

Speaking to the Performance People podcast, Allison is hopeful that Mercedes will be in the mix in 2024 having already made significant progress with the design of the W15.

Asked if Mercedes will be back to winning ways in 2024 or require more time to recapture their former glories, Allison said: “‘I don’t know,’ is the answer to that.

“I hope that we have put in place enough of a program of work that we have put ourselves in with a shout to be back to [competitiveness].

“[When you say] ‘winning ways’, does that mean winning a race? Does that mean winning a Championship?

“In my head, it’s only ever about Championships. That’s what Formula 1 is: it’s a Constructors’ and a Drivers’ Championship.

“I hope that we have done enough to give ourselves a shout of being in a Championship fight in both Championships.

“If you look at the long march of F1 history, then the stats are against us. Teams do not bounce back from slipping from their previous peak in the length of time that we have set ourselves.

“But we have nevertheless set a pretty ambitious program. We have quite a lot of strength in depth here and we’ve made quite a lot of progress with next year’s car.

“Whether it proves sufficient or not, only time will tell, but that’s what I’m hoping for us and I know that all my colleagues and team-mates around me will be hoping for the same.”

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Allison’s comments come just days after the second anniversary of the infamous 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where Hamilton was denied a record eighth title in highly controversial circumstances.

Although FIA race director Michael Masi’s failure to implement the Safety Car procedure correctly is widely seen as the reason for Hamilton’s defeat to Verstappen, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner recently claimed Mercedes simply “f*cked up” by electing not to pit the British driver.

Asked to explain why the Abu Dhabi 2021 race was so controversial, he said: “I have absolutely no idea.

“Mercedes f*cked up. They left poor Lewis out there on tyres that had done pretty much most of the race and we’d pitted with Max, so he was on a fresh set of tyres. Max made the move and…”

Verstappen has won 44 of the last 66 races stretching back to start of the 2021 season, with 44 ironically being Hamilton’s chosen race number in F1.

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