Rule changes a challenge for champions
Mercedes technical director James Allison says continuing to dominate their rivals will be a challenge in the 2021 Formula 1 season.
A major rules overhaul has been delayed until 2022 which means that most commentators are expecting a repeat of 2020 when the new season gets underway in Bahrain at the end of March.
That would mean another Mercedes landslide - they won the Constructors' Championship by a thumping 254-point margin last season and helped Lewis Hamilton become world champion for a record-equalling seventh time.
Mercedes are hoping to confirm that Hamilton will again be their number-one driver in 2021 though the Briton is currently stalling on a new contract.
The German-owned team are clear favourites to make it an eighth straight championship but technical director Allison highlighted a couple of rule tweaks, including changes to aerodynamics and a handicap system for testing those aerodynamics depending on where teams finished in last year's rankings.
Allison believes those changes could have a significant impact on a car's speed, potentially shaking up the pecking order.
"If you are looking at this new season of 2021 and you are thinking it is just going to be a carry-over of what we saw in 2020, well, don't be fooled by anyone who is telling you that," Allison said in a Mercedes video.
"The work we have had to do has been very wide-reaching. We hope we have done enough to stay successful but as ever at this time of year we are just full of anxiety."
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