Mercedes technical director James Allison has admitted the team is deliberately hiding certain floor developments from its Formula 1 rivals ahead of the 2021 season.

While a majority freeze on technical development between last season and this one means that teams are carrying over a significant amount of mechanical parts to 2021, revisions to the aerodynamic regulations aimed at cutting downforce and slowing down cars has created additional work.

Mercedes presented its updated W12 car on Tuesday morning ahead of the new season but openly admitted it was hiding the changes it has made to the floor.

The secrecy surrounding the floor development follows the intrigue around Red Bull’s decision not to release any images of its RB16B on track from its shakedown at Silverstone last week.

“The bit we’re not showing you is down along the edge of the floor,” Allison explained at the team’s launch event.

“That area is the area that was most effected by the new regulations, where they tried to pull performance away from the car by changing the floor regs.

“Down there is a bunch of aerodynamic detail that we are not quite ready to release to the world, not because it’s not there, but because we don’t want our competitors to see it, and we don’t want them starting to try and put similar things in their wind tunnels.

“It just buys us a couple of weeks extra.”

Mercedes is also staying tight-lipped on where it has decided to spent its permitted two development tokens for its latest challenger, though it did explain changes it has made to its power unit in a bid to increase performance and reliability.

"What's carried over will be different from team to team, because the rules didn't require you to carryover the same things," Allison said.

"The only thing we can say with certainty at this stage is that everybody's cars will have significant areas that are the same as their 2020 car but those areas will vary from car to car, depending on how they chose to spend their tokens.

"In addition, there are some parts of the car that you can change token-free, for example the power unit, the cooling systems, the suspension and of course all of the aerodynamic surfaces.

"We have spent our tokens, but we won't reveal how we used them just yet. That'll become clear in good time."

 

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