Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has emphasised that the outfit will not compromise its 2022 Formula 1 package in order to bring updates to its 2021 car.
Red Bull Racing claimed its fourth successive victory in emphatic fashion at Sunday’s Styrian Grand Prix to extend its advantage in the Constructors’ Championship to 40 points.
Formula 1 is overhauling its technical regulations for 2022, meaning teams have to find a delicate trade-off in terms of how resources are split between this and next year’s respective projects.
Mercedes’ fourth defeat on the bounce marked its longest drought in Formula 1’s turbo hybrid era but Wolff emphasised that the operation will not change tact.
“It is very, very tricky decision because we are having new regulations not only for next year but the years to come, a completely different car concept,” said Wolff.
“You’ve got to choose the right balance and pretty much everybody’s going to be on next year’s cars.
“Some [teams] may still bring stuff. Red Bull brought vans [on] Thursday and Friday with new parts, and fair enough, it’s a strategy, and one that proves to be successful as it stands because today they were simply in a league of their own from a car pace wise.
“At a certain stage even the ones like Red Bull, who keep on adding parts, need to switch all of the development into next year.
“That means all the exploitation of the car [is] around the set-up work, the tyres, and the optimisation of how we are running [the current specification] will become a very, very important part.
“And it would make no sense to put a week or two, or months, back on the current car as the gains wouldn’t be anywhere near the gains you’re making on the 2022 car.”
Wolff was nonetheless swift to emphasise that the 2021 title battle “is far from over” and that Mercedes not bringing new components should not be seen as a sign of it throwing in the towel.
“We had a very difficult weekend in Austria with no weapons in our armoury to win this race fair and straight,” he said.
“But we will be winning races this year and will be having pole positions and will be fighting as much as we can for every single result.”