Strategy Group's plans would make fastest F1 cars ever - Toto Wolff

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff believes the Formula 1 Strategy Group's planned changes will create the fastest cars in grand prix history

Strategy Group's plans would make fastest F1 cars ever - Toto Wolff

A raft of proposals have been put forward with the intention of stemming the tide of a declining worldwide audience.

ANALYSIS: Full details of the Strategy Group's F1 revamp plan

The aim is to make cars five to six seconds faster than at present via a number of aerodynamic rules, wider tyres and a reduction in car weight.

There will also be higher-revving engines, technical change to increase noise and refuelling will be reintroduced.

"The bottom line is we believe we can make cars five to six seconds faster than the current generation of cars, which means the fastest Formula 1 cars that ever existed," Wolff told AUTOSPORT.

"This is exciting. This was the major breakthrough where we all lifted our hands to push for such a performance target.

"What we want is to definitely make it the fastest car on the planet. This is happening and it's really great news."

REFUELLING RETURN NOT GUARANTEED

Refuelling has been banned since 2010, and although pushed through initially via the Strategy Group, it is by no means a given it will make a return from 2017.

A feasibility study will first be conducted to assess whether it is financially viable, although Wolff is in favour.

"There were people [at the meeting] who said it is very spectacular," he said.

"It also means a lighter car in the race so a driver can push more, that the tyres aren't killed with the weight of the car.

"There was a bit scepticism because we obviously banned refuelling a few years ago, and there are concerns about shipping the kit around.

"But it makes the racing a bit more unpredictable for the fans; it means you are not quite sure what is going on.

"We have agreed to explore the topic and to go for it if we can, as long as we don't jeopardise the spectacle around pitstops in general."

CUSTOMER CARS 'VIABLE'

One area of concern surrounds the likely introduction from 2017 of customer cars that could leave the independent teams reviewing their business models and futures.

Wolff feels this is a positive opportunity for F1 to reinvent itself.

Uncertain future for independent F1 teams

"We obviously don't want to risk the small teams going out of business, and whatever system you try to implement it's difficult," said Wolff.

"We need to find a way where the small teams can survive, and we don't want a situation where each of them is spending more than it earns.

"The Strategy Group teams are prepared to offer a works-spec car to the other teams or potential new entrants.

"Another contingency plan, should we lose a team, is to run a third or fourth car ourselves.

"This is not the most appealing story for Formula 1, but if you imagine Mercedes running a car with a young driver and he's in that car for one season and he is a challenger to the other guys, it could still be interesting.

"In both versions you are adding competitive cars running close to the front of the field, or in the middle.

"This is a route we will explore and come back within a month with a viable commercial set-up so it can function."

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