Wolff Claims Mercedes at a Big Disadvantage: “Red Bull or Aston Martin Will Come Up With a Better Solution”

Published 02/23/2021, 1:03 AM EST
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 15: Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff looks on in the Team Principals Press Conference during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


The last seven years have spelled dominance for Mercedes and trouble for other teams. The likes of Red Bull, McLaren, and newly named Aston Martin have all tried to close the gap, but to no avail.

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With the 2022 regulations around the corner, the cars in the 2021 F1 season are not expected to be very different from last year’s challengers. However, from a downforce, aerodynamics, and tires’ perspective, there are quite a few changes that can directly influence teams’ results.

Mercedes are, of course, masters of innovation and technology themselves, and will come up with an optimal arrangement for their own car. But speaking in an interview, team principal Toto Wolff did not rule out a couple of teams who could come up with a ‘better solution’.

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Tech changes have forced a rethink in entire car concept, said Wolff

Wolff stated, “The change to the sub-floor, from which a part is cut out, is decisive in technology. This forced a rethink in the entire concept.”

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

Per the 2021 F1 technical regulations, all teams have to design a new floorboard for their cars, which offers up to 10% downforce loss. These aerodynamic tweaks are, hence, where other teams have an opportunity to give Mercedes a run for their money.

“Therefore we cannot rule out that Red Bull Racing or Aston Martin will come up with a better solution,” concluded the 49-year-old Austrian.

Red Bull look the likeliest challengers to Mercedes’ crown this season

It has been the story for quite a few campaigns now, with Ferrari and Red Bull changing hands for that runner-up position. But naturally, the coveted champions’ spot is where both teams want to be.

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Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

Based on the evidence in 2020, though, Red Bull cut down the time gap to Mercedes in qualifying in the last few races. Additionally, the experience of Sergio Perez can only help the Milton Keynes-based outfit.

Therefore, it is still quite early to make any predictions about the cars which will appear in mid-March’s winter testing. But make no mistake, the 2021 F1 season could well provide the excitement that fans are hoping for.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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