Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says the factory is like a “lego box” which has been tipped over as engineers work on the W12.
Mercedes have long been the dominant force in Formula 1, winning every Drivers’ and Constructors’ title up for grabs since 2014.
The W11 which powered Sir Lewis Hamilton to his record-equalling seventh World Championship was arguably the Mercedes team’s best creation to date, and with the majority of that chassis being carried over into the W12, expectations remain high.
However, the limited chassis changes between 2020 and 2021 don’t make putting the W12 together any easier, nor did Mercedes’ early switch of focus to the 2021 campaign.
In fact, Wolff doesn’t expect the W12 to be ready until around “48 hours” before its shakedown.
“The car is far from finished,” Wolff told RTL, as quoted by Racingnews365.nl.
“It won’t be ready until the final moments leading up to the shakedown, say about 48 hours in advance. At the moment there is not much of the car to see.
“Right now, it looks like someone’s tipped a full lego box around. However, it is impressive to see how the puzzle pieces will fall into place in the run-up to those 48 hours before the shakedown.”
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The biggest change between the 2020 and 2021 chassis will be the redesigned areas around the edges of the floor, the rear brake ducts and diffuser in a bid to reduce the downforce levels of the cars.
Mercedes technical director James Allison previously said that without these alterations Formula 1 risked the cars outgrowing both the tyres and possibly even parts of circuits.
“The most intense and difficult thing for us is reacting to the aerodynamic changes that come for 2021,” said the Mercedes tech boss.
“There was a concern that if we left the aerodynamic development of these cars unchecked then the performance would just keep increasing, as it has been doing it for a number of seasons now.
“It would keep increasing to a level where the cars would just simply outgrow the tyres and perhaps even aspects of the circuits.
“There was a good need to bring the performance down a bit from the cars so that they would be able to go into the (2021) season with the mechanical packages designed for 2020, and be confident that the performance of the car would be matched to the physical infrastructure that the car was built around.”