Mercedes: What’s gone wrong at the F1 and can they recover?
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Toto Wolff has admitted there is a “potential advantage” to pushing the FIA on safety changes weeks after Christian Horner hit back at Mercedes’ stance. Horner claimed Mercedes were to blame for their porpoising issues and slammed the FIA for looking at changing the rules to deal with the problem.
Wolff has called for rule changes since Hamilton suffered severe back pains at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. He has also accused Red Bull and Ferrari of ganging up on Mercedes over failing to address the issues.
However, Wolff has now revealed there can be “a potential advantage” to lobbying the FIA over safety concerns. Speaking to Motorsport.com Italy, he said: “When you put pressure on the FIA there is always a potential advantage, in everything, and we have done that in the past.
“But on this issue, I see it very differently, on several occasions there has been no hesitation in making changes to the regulations for safety reasons.
“I could also add that today we have understood the porpoising problems of our car, we got the pole position in the last race, but that doesn’t change anything. It is irrelevant, we are talking about something that damages the health of the drivers, from the outside we cannot understand what it means to be subjected to those particular stresses.
“I strongly believe that countermeasures must be taken to be sure that next year this problem will be a distant memory ”. Horner has been strongly against Wolff over any mid-regulation rule changes to battle bouncing issues.
After the FIA issued a technical directive over porpoising, Horner accused the FIA of being “overtly biased” in favour of the Silver Arrows. Horner also clashed with Wolff ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, calling for the Mercedes boss to get his “own house in order”.
The Red Bull team principal explained: “It seems very unfair, under a set of regulations, to say that just because they’ve got it wrong, everybody else has to change. There’s an inherent cost with that, which, under a budget cap, is very tricky to accommodate.”
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The FIA will introduce an oscillation measurement from the Belgian Grand Prix to stop cars from running too low to the ground. Changes to the height of the floors will also come into effect next season in order to alleviate the issues.
Wolff has previously claimed rivals were only against the changes as they wanted to keep their performance gains.
He commented: “Team principals trying to manipulate what is being said in order to keep the competitive advantage, and trying to play political games when the FIA tries to come up with a quick solution to at least put the cars in a better position, is disingenuous. This is a joint problem we are having as Formula One… this is a design issue that needs to be solved. We have long-term effects that we can’t even judge.”
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