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F1 Beyond the Grid Podcast: James on Lewis, W15 & the Future

Missing Lewis' magical moments, developing the W15 and the joy of seeing the Team's hard work rewarded, James Allison reflects on the season so far and what's to come in the future.

In a wide-ranging chat, our Technical Director sat down with F1's Tom Clarkson for the Beyond the Grid podcast.

"At the start of the year we could get the car okay in a slow corner and decent in a fast corner. But we could not get it good in both at the same time.

"What has changed in the last few races is that we have modified the car in such a way as to make it have a reasonable high-low speed and through-corner balance. That means the driver can trust it from when he hits the brakes at the beginning of the corner, all the way through the apex and out the other side."

James on Choosing a New Direction

"It was not a Eureka moment. That comes from when you suddenly understand something that no-one had understood before. Our progress has come from that moment of realisation of 'how could we have been so dumb?!' when you see something for the first time.

"The front wing is one of the bigger things about it, but it is all about figuring out the car can go high to low speed in a good way, and through a corner in a good way."

James on What Makes Lewis So Special

"I will miss the days when he would just produce total magic, that would make you say 'oh my goodness!" Putting a car on a road with such precision that just left all the other drivers with no option but to surrender.

"The ability to make a tyre last and last - even while telling Bono it would not! The delivery of just brilliant performance. I have said before he is the best racing driver there has ever been, and I still believe it."

James on Changing Up the Approach

"I joined a team in 2017 that was very aware that it would be complacency that killed us. Lacking the sting of defeat would mean not turning over the rocks necessary to stay strong. It is a credit to the team that we kept that going for eight years.

"Hopefully, I have been helpful in engaging everyone who makes this work at the factory to say that we may have had lots of false starts, but this is worth a push and will make a difference.

"The response to that has been brilliant. Seeing their hard work rewarded by the last few races has been the happiest moment in all of this."

The response of the factory has been brilliant


"I think we can get the car in a position where it is properly competitive and fear no tracks. I am pretty sure we will make a good showing in the future and I am absolutely certain that we can be as fast as anyone over the coming period.

"If we can get ourselves back to a place where we are genuinely competitive across a range of circuits and in a championship battle, I know the pleasure that we will collectively feel will make all the pain and doubt of the last three years just disappear like dew as the morning sun comes out."

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