Toto Wolff says the cost cap and aerodynamic regulations will reap results for F1 and that Mercedes will have to utilise the time they have for 2023.
With Red Bull penalised for their cost cap issue in 2021 with a fine and wind tunnel time reduction (10% less), the issue in the 2023 season will possibly be how they overcome the loss compared to their chief rivals, who predominantly should be Ferrari and Mercedes.
It’s an interesting situation to be in but with the cost cap scenario, it is a little tougher as your money can not really be invested in order to resolve an outcome for more success. While the above changes from outside shows things may not have worked straight up during the pecking order but such changes take time to settle in.
And Mercedes F1 chief Wolff, in fact, believes that this aerodynamic solution could actually bring the teams closer in the coming years since the reduction scale will kick in slowly. And the cost cap situation will make it difficult to overcome issues easily since they can’t pour in money to solve the problems.
“I think the cost cap is harder because you can’t really invest more in order for the outcome to come quicker,” said Wolff. “I think other aerodynamic regulations which are designed these days and the penalty that you encounter is 24% less return time. That can have an effect”.
“The way that the regulations, the wind tunnel restrictions, the ATR restrictions have been set in place allows teams that are further back to make a big jump to the front runners and that is also a reason why we will see much closer world championships in the future because if you are last, God knows how much more you have, 50% more, 40% more?,” summed up Wolff.
Bottom line for Mercedes is they have more time in the wind tunnel this season than Red Bull and even Ferrari. They must utilise same to bridge the gap to them which Wolff wishes to but he can’t sit down and relax since the rival F1 teams can do wonders even with the less wind-tunnel time.
“That is something we have to utilise,” said Wolff. “Is it a given that we can utilise it? Who knows? Red Bull are a brilliant racing team and it will give them an extra motivation against Ferrari by 7 % but its about marginal gains and we have been closer to Ferrari in the last fourth of the 2022 season,” summed up Wolff.
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