Toto Wolff, Mercedes F1’s Team Principal, refuted claims of technical directives having any influence on the team’s engine performance. Wolff revealed how rival F1 teams pushed Mercedes to “new levels” in developing its current engine.
In addition, the Austrian could not resist the urge of taking a jab at Ferrari, labeling the current situation as “ironic”.
In sharp contrast to its current struggles, Ferrari’s engine last season was on a whole other level. The Scuderia developed a power unit that was light years ahead of its competition, at least until the FIA’s investigation.
The Italian team had a developed an engine that was capable of delivering mind-boggling straight-line speed and performance. So much so, that Mercedes simply didn’t have an answer to Ferrari’s sheer outright pace.
That is of course until Red Bull discovered that something wasn’t right with Ferrari’s engine.
At last year’s US Grand Prix, the FIA investigated Ferrari’s power unit following Red Bull’s clarification over the engine’s legality. The conclusion of the investigation culminated with Ferrari losing its trademarked top-speed.
Ferrari is yet to recover from the effects of the inquiry. Consequently, the Scuderia’s once-mighty engine now sits plumb last in the pecking order.
Recently, Team Principal Mattia Binotto revealed that technical directives issued by the FIA last year had an impact on their engine’s performance. Unsurprisingly, only Ferrari powered cars seem to bear the brunt of the FIA’s guidelines.
Wolff laughed off the influence of TD’s on Mercedes’ engines. The Austrian opened up on how other teams pushed Mercedes to a ‘burn out’ in trying to achieve better performance. Speaking to The Race, Wolff said:
“Another complete bullsh*t story, technical directives. There’s a clear regulation on power units, there have been clarifications in Austin what you are allowed to do or not which were important.
“But nothing that was in any way surprising because if you comply to the regulations that was clear anyway. I think the irony of the story is that we were pushed by some of our competitors to absolutely new levels.
“It brought us to almost burnout last year to develop and innovate in a way to be competitive on track. And here we go. I think we made a substantial jump in performance from 2019 to 2020 because we needed to last year and that is a little bit ironic for me.”
Currently, Mercedes has no real competition in Formula 1. Hopefully, Ferrari can resolve its engine woes sooner rather than later and take the fight to Mercedes.