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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

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."

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