Mercedes insists it is not an 'opportunist' in F1 engine rule talks

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff insists the outfit is not trying to be opportunistic in pushing for what it wants in future Formula 1 engine rules

Mercedes insists it is not an 'opportunist' in F1 engine rule talks

The manufacturer has joined Renault and Ferrari in opposing a bold shake-up to regulations that were proposed by F1 owner Liberty Media and the FIA last year on cost grounds.

This stance prompted rivals to suggest the manufacturers did not want anything to change because they were trying to protect their competitive advantage.

Wolff has denied that is the case, though, and said a compromise proposal that has been given to the FIA and Liberty could actually make things harder for his team than building an all-new engine.

Asked about accusations that Mercedes is resisting change, Wolff told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: "You can't be such a super-opportunist. That will bite you one day.

"For us, a change in the engine regulations would even be desirable because we assume that our structure works at Mercedes.

"To avoid a transformation of performance, we would like to start again from scratch. But that would be expensive.

"We therefore call for the rules to be more or less maintained.

"In two years' time there will be only marginal differences in performance between the now competing engine manufacturers.

"Renault will close up this season. And Honda took a big leap."

Although the FIA and Liberty are having to balance the interests of the current manufacturers against potential new entrants, Wolff thinks it would be a mistake to create rules that would guarantee outsiders easy success.

"The entry level is high, as in any competition at a certain level," he added.

"But no one should insist on being competitive from the outset by changing the rules.

"We also had a difficult phase in 2010, '11 and '12, and we only managed one victory in this time.

"What kind of service would that be to Formula 1 if you cut the rules in such a way that a beginner immediately climbs right up to the front? Good for them if it works like that.

"But I can only warn against artificial levelling. After all, the competing teams have earned their place with hard work and high investments."

Although no details of the compromise proposal from the manufacturers has been revealed, Wolff suggested that using more standard parts has been proposed to drive down costs to help new entrants.

"We think that certain components should be released for distribution and standardised," he said.

"In addition, the engine speed should be allowed to increase and the fuel flow should be increased.

"Standard parts should be considered where a new entrant may not want to develop.

"We would make our technology available or standardise it."

shares
comments
Stroll: Williams F1 team 'surviving, not racing' after Australian GP

Previous article

Stroll: Williams F1 team 'surviving, not racing' after Australian GP

Next article

F1 chief Ross Brawn admits Australian GP lacked 'vital' overtaking

F1 chief Ross Brawn admits Australian GP lacked 'vital' overtaking
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Mercedes
Author Jonathan Noble
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Plus

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Plus

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well-aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead on pace. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Formula 1
Apr 15, 2021
Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021