With a continuum of severity of time allowed in the wind tunnel, the rules were created with the goal of narrowing up the field, ensuring Mercedes, the eight-time reigning constructors’ champions, benefit significantly less than lower position teams like tenth position team Haas Racing.
The newly implemented technical rules and regulations were made with a view to put the top teams at a minor handicap to ensure fair racing on the grid. However, Mercedes’ team principal Toto Wolff believes that this move would improve racing as a whole.
“The regulations were designed for the specific purpose of making the field more competitive and not having these huge gaps,” said Wolff. It is a fine adjustment. I think between P1, P2 and P3 it is not a big disadvantage. Obviously, if one of the top teams is a real outlier, like Ferrari in the first half of 2021, it can be up to a couple of tenths if you extrapolate from your own development curve,” said Wolff. He addressed the new regulations as a competitive move which will essentially put the teams on the top of the leaderboard at a disadvantage but it’d be good for racing as a whole.
Toto Wolff finds variety of development routes in Formula One fascinating
We got a look into all the cars that have been developed according to the new technical regulations this season at the pre-season testing held in Barcelona ahead of the first Grand Prix this month in Bahrain. In reference to that, Wolff mentioned how he was fascinated by the polarity in the design of the cars this season which are a testament to the teams’ spirit of creativity and innovation.
“The development route has been chosen much earlier, beginning probably in the middle of last year,” added Wolff. “Everybody was continuing to develop their own car, that is what you need to focus on. But obviously from a fans’ perspective, which I count myself as well, looking at the other concepts and seeing what everybody has come out with and the interpretation of the regulations is fascinating. This is what makes Formula 1,” said the Mercedes Team Principal.
There is going to be a second phase of testing in Bahrain itself this month from 10 March to 12 March before the first race of the season in Bahrain.