Toto Wolff suggests stable regulations better for F1 long-term

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes keeping regulations as stable as possible for 2021 will be beneficial for Formula 1’s long-term health.

Mercedes has largely dominated Formula 1 since the introduction of V6 turbo hybrid power units in 2014, and remained ahead when aerodynamic regulations were overhauled for 2017.

Only Ferrari and Red Bull have joined Mercedes in winning grands prix since 2014.

Formula 1 chiefs are in the process of shaping the Sporting and Technical regulations for the next cycle, which begins in 2021, but Wolff reckons stability is preferable to vast changes.

“The default reaction in the past, when a team, or three big teams are running away, is that we change the regulations,” he said.

“Because you believe that by changing the regulations others may catch up.

“I think that exactly the opposite is the case, if you leave regulations alone, which is counter-intuitive, eventually performance converges.

“We’ve seen that in the power unit regulations for a while and I think that if we leave the chassis regulations alone, eventually more teams will be closer together.

“But as in the past, teams lobby for change because they believe that rolling the dice can be an advantage for them.

“When you look at the 2019 regulations and the 2018 regulations, none of them have happened - actually, the teams at the front have increased the gaps they had, so we are back to square one.”

Wolff nonetheless accepts that Mercedes’ position atop the pecking order means his view is unlikely to be taken seriously.

“I think we are making that mistake over and over again but it is very difficult from our position to be credible or to be heard,” accepted Wolff.

“They believe we want to maintain rules as they are to maintain our advantage, whilst the opposite is actually the case.

“Leave it alone and performance will converge.”