Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff admitted his team is not delighted with the way F1 takes with the significant technical changes for 2017. The Austrian expressed concerns about the impact the heavily revised aerodynamics could have on overtaking.
Formula 1 is approaching a new era in technical means in 2017 with wider tyres and higher downforce levels. The aim with the technical reshuffle was to pose a bigger physical challenge to the drivers and make F1 cars faster so that they can stand out even more dominantly with their speed from other categories.
Lap times are expected to tumble and lap records are expected to be broken. However, the increase in downforce means that cars will produce even more turbulences which can make it even harder for drivers to follow other cars. Some have already expressed fears that overtaking might be more complicated which could harm the on-track spectacle.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is against the new rules, but he stressed that his dislike to the revamp is not because he fears Mercedes could lose its seemingly never-ending domination.
“Honestly, we weren’t big supporters of a regulation change. Not because we wanted to freeze the current situation,” Wolff started his assessment of the new technical direction.
“It’s clear that when regulations stay stable that eventually performance is going to converge. But because we weren’t sure that it is the right way for Formula One.”
Despite to his fears, Wolff is very much keen on having a first glimpse of the new, more aggressively looking cars on track which should test the physical fitness of the drivers much harder as well.
“But as it is, we are where we are and the cars, certainly in the wind tunnel, look very spectacular, very wide with the big tyres and I am personally very excited to see them on track for the first time. For the drivers it will be much harder; the cars will be pulling more g through the corners. The simulations that we have seen are very exciting. The corners will be flat that are far from flat today – and we will be breaking records in terms of lap time. So, I guess, an exciting season that will be ahead of us.”
The Austrian can only hope that the increased width won’t affect the overtaking too much.
”I hope that overtaking is not going to be too difficult because of the width of the car and the dirty air behind it – but let’s see. In hindsight, now that we are where we are, we have to do the best out of it,” concluded Wolff.