Mercedes gives reason for not using upgrade tokens on 2021 car

Mercedes gave their reason for not using their upgrade tokens on the 2021 car, saying plans for it never materialised.

As part of the F1 rules regarding spending due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teams were allowed to make limited upgrades to their car to the equivalent of two tokens. The details of how Mercedes spent theirs was not known, until they revealed that they did not end up using it.

Mercedes gave the reason for not using their upgrade tokens, and suggested that it wasn’t really needed on their car.

Earlier in the season, Mercedes Chief Technical Officer James Allison had said, “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.”

But after the season wrapped up, team technical director Mike Elliott revealed that Allison had been bluffing, and that the team hadn’t spent the tokens.

“For us, I don’t think we actually ended up spending the tokens,” he said as quoted by

Revealed: Why Mercedes didn’t spend F1 upgrade tokens on 2021 car
The W12 (pictured) did not take any upgrades. Source:

“We had ideas of things we wanted to do around the front of the car. The reality was we had ideas of stuff we wanted to do, but they didn’t come to fruition in the end.”

High-level operation

“I think when you’ve got a car that’s dominant, which we’ve had previously, the balance you’ve got doesn’t really matter so much to the drivers,” he added.

“So I don’t think the issue we had at the beginning of season was so much balance, I think we just lost of lot of aerodynamic performance overall.

“Whether that hit us as hard as it hit other people, that’s always impossible to judge because we don’t know what the impact was on the other cars.

“All we know is by the time we’d done our work over the winter and turned up at the tracks, the sort of the advantage we had in the (2020) season, certainly advantages we had mid-season, had disappeared,” he concluded.

Read more: Wolff agrees that Mercedes was at fault for Bottas’ Sochi nightmare – “It was really robbed”

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