Formula 1: The extreme strategy Mercedes are using to test

Mercedes have set themselves apart in terms of testing strategy ahead of the 2024 Formula 1 season at Bahrain International Circuit.
George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Formula 1
George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Formula 1 / Kym Illman/GettyImages

A lot of attention has been directed toward Mercedes ever since the W15 went into development. The team have gotten their concept designs wrong the last couple of Formula 1 seasons, and it has resulted in them not being able to stay as competitive.

However, the W15 has gone through a complete redesign, and the previous concepts used were completely ditched. With the team hoping to compete with Red Bull once again, the revamped Mercedes car is looking to prove its worth throughout the 2024 season.

In terms of testing this week, Mercedes opted for a rather extreme tire allocation. Of the 37 sets the team have for both drivers, 25 are medium tire sets, the most of any team. Red Bull and Ferrari, on the other hand, have 20 and 19 medium sets, respectively. The remaining tire allocation for Mercedes consists of only four sets of hard tires and eight sets of soft tires.

What could this mean for Mercedes?

Preseason testing has always been a period during which teams can gather all different types of data. This data will be used as a baseline for race strategies and car development going forward.

In this case, Mercedes going with the extensive medium tire data collection will likely help in some areas but could also backfire in others. With medium tires being the most commonly used type in races, it could allow for the Silver Arrows to maximize their performance and race pace.

On the flip side, their relative lack of testing with hard and soft tires could prove costly. But Mercedes knowingly chose their tire allocation with a plan in mind, and given their pedigree over the last decade, it is a safe bet that they know what they are doing.

Formula 1 fans have an interesting Lewis Hamilton, Ferrari conspiracy theory. Formula 1 fans have an interesting Lewis Hamilton, Ferrari conspiracy theory. dark. Next

Though there are risks involved, the effects of such a testing strategy will not be known until a few races into the season. If things do work out for Mercedes, fans will hope to see a battle similar to that of the 2021 season.