“We need to reconsider the system,” Toto Wolff calls for revisions to the grid penalty rules following chaos at the Italian GP

Toto Wolff asks for a re-evaluation of the Engine Penalty rules after the confusion regarding grid spots at the Italian GP.

Mercedes' team principal Toto Wolff
Mercedes' team principal Toto Wolff

Looking behind the Italian GP, Toto Wolff wasn’t happy with how the engine penalty system works in Formula 1. The engine penalty played a big role at Monza with nine drivers serving penalties for different components to their engine. This brought certain chaos to the paddock with no teams knowing where their respective drivers are starting on the grid.

Toto Wolff pointed out the loophole in the FIA regulations regarding the engine penalty. While Lewis Hamilton started the race from the last row, he ultimately managed a P5 finish. But what bothered Toto Wolff was Max Verstappen’s pace through the pack. Max started P7 and finished a mind-blowing P1 with a certain margin to P2. Toto brought out a reality check regarding the positives of a new engine.

“We need to reconsider [the system] when the engine cap kicks in. But still, we don’t want to have an arms race on engines being brought because whatever freedom they give us, we will do it and we will do it even more strategically,” Wolff said, as per Daily Mail.

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Toto Wolff and Mattia Binotto agree to certain regulation breaches

Christian Horner, Toto Wolff and Matia Binotto
Christian Horner, Toto Wolff and Matia Binotto

Toto Wolff brought out a spare topic of the budget cap imposed on the chassis of the team’s car. But with no cap on the engines, the top team would bring out a whole new batch for the driver to give them a speed jump in every race.

“On the chassis side, we are cost cap. We weren’t before. On the engine side, we are not cost-capped yet. If there are no grid penalties, we would have qualifying engines – not five but 20. The big teams would spend what they want in order to have an advantage and that is why there needs to be a certain factor that avoids that. That is where it is coming from,” said Toto.

Mattia Binotto, Ferrari’s team principal did agree with Toto to a certain level and also asked for a regulation change regarding the usage of the new PUs. He also asks for a change in the number of engines a driver is free to use if before he hits the penalty.

“That’s something we need to address certainly for the future. I think not only how we decide the grid position based on the penalties, but the amount of penalties we’ve got is too many as well. Maybe the three PUs per driver is too little for what we have achieved – maybe it needs to be reconsidered for the next seasons,” said Mattia.

Through the chaos at Italy, Max Verstappen won his fifth continuous win and is almost on the verge to win his second title. With Singapore being the next race, Max is expected to be crowned the winner of the 2022 Formula 1 championship.

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Soham is a Formula 1 content writer at First Sportz. He is an immovable F1 fan being a Tifosi and his favourite driver is Sebastian Vettel. He is an undergrad student at Kiit University pursuing Computer Science and Engineering.