Formula 1: Mercedes boss Toto Wolff thinks new rules will make it impossible for racers to match 2020 lap times

Commenting upon the Mercedes car for next season, Toto said they were right in the middle of development and doubted a quick recovery.

FP Trending December 29, 2020 17:29:18 IST
Formula 1: Mercedes boss Toto Wolff thinks new rules will make it impossible for racers to match 2020 lap times

File image of Mercedes’ team Principal and CEO Toto Wolff. Reuters

Toto Wolff, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team CEO and principal, has said that Formula 1 cars in 2021 will not be able to top speeds seen in 2020. Toto blames the new rule changes made in the sport for the same.

While the basic rule changes were announced by the FIA and F1 in October 2019, it was only recently that the new engine rules were introduced. It was decided by the board as well as the teams that the cars should be tweaked to reduce downforce significantly. The downforce puts a lot of pressure on the tyres of the vehicles but now the designers have been stopped from putting any sort of enclosed holes in the rear section of the floor of the car. The aim is to cut back on the teams’ ability to manipulate the airflow during a race. This is done by introducing “slots, holes and shaped aerodynamic furniture in that region of the floor.

With the increased use of such techniques in F1 in the last few years, Toto thinks it would be hard for teams to regain their speeds next year.

When he was asked about the chances of regaining previous abilities, the CEO said: “I don’t think so”, adding that it was “going to take a while to catch up” as the aero was cut down “considerably on the floor around the tyres”.

Commenting upon the Mercedes car for next season, Toto said they were “right in the middle of development” and doubted a quick recovery. He said: “.. with the tyres going a notch harder, I don’t think we will [be] near the lap times that we have seen this year”. The Austrian investor then added as an afternote that no improvement was possible at least in the first half of the year.

Tyre company Pirelli will be making stronger tyres for the 2021 season, thereby slowing them down. Dave Robson, head of vehicle performance of the Williams F1 team, has said that the new cars will not be a “full second slower” but even if they are, their enhanced endurance is a fair deal.

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