A sustained period of dominance by one team in Formula One, according to Toto Wolff, seems improbable given the sport’s financial cap and wind tunnel limitations.
Toto Wolff, team principal of Mercedes, claims that given the way F1 is changing, it will be difficult to duplicate his team’s current dominance.
Between 2014 and 2021, Mercedes won every single championship title that was up for grabs, with Max Verstappen’s narrow victory in the Drivers’ championship in 2021 being the lone exception.
Wolff believes a same prolonged dominance from one squad is impossible since F1’s currently implemented budget cap and constraints on wind tunnel time prevent the sport’s bigger teams from fully stretching their financial muscles.
Wolff told the reporters, including RacingNews365.com, “I think you just need to play a better game than the others.”
“It’s a relative competition, and we know who our competitors are today, there will be others tomorrow and after tomorrow because of the cost cap limits that have been set, and this is what the sport should be, not one team, not three, but maybe five [in title contention], and the landscape has changed.
“I don’t think that anybody will run away with eight championships in a row going forward, and this is the way the regulations have been designed.”
Important championship positions
Following the introduction of a sliding scale in Formula 1 the year before based on a team’s finishing place in the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes’ current victories have resulted in the squad being punished with Aerodynamic Testing Restrictions [ATR] during the previous two seasons.
This meant that, with a 5 percent gap between positions, Mercedes was given permission to perform fewer CFD and wind tunnel tests than any other squad.
Mercedes will have 80 percent of the permitted time, or 256 wind tunnel tests, because they came in third in the 2022 championship.
Ferrari, who finished in second place, will receive 75% of the time, while Red Bull, who won the championship, will only have 63 % after being fined by the drinks-sponsored team for exceeding F1’s cost cap.
Wolff responded in the affirmative when questioned if the spending cap made it harder for teams to shut down the leads.
“I think it’s harder because you can’t really invest more in order for the outcome to come quicker,” Wolff said.
“But I think how the aerodynamic regulations are designed, and the penalty that they’ve gotten, it’s 25 percent less wind tunnel [time] and that can have an effect.
“The way that the regulations, the wind tunnel or ATR restrictions, have been set in place allows teams that are further back to really make a big jump compared to the front runners.
“That’s also the reason why we will see much closer championships in the future because if you are last you will have 50 percent more, 40 percent more.
“So, clearly that is an advantage we have to utilise. Is it a given that we can utilise it? Who knows?”
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F1, F1 2022, Formula 1, Grand Prix, FIA, Toto Wolff, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes