Disputes about performance suspicions ‘not necessary’ for F1 – Wolff

Mercedes and Aston Martin have come under renewed scrutiny from other teams due to the Silverstone side's use of their wind tunnel.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes that the rules need to be tweaked to prevent “some of the teams” from sharing critical information with each other.

Mercedes and Racing Point were the centre of attention in 2020 when the British team were found to have directly copied the 2019 Mercedes car illegally, leading to a 400,000 euro fine and a points deduction for the “pink Mercedes” team.

Fresh controversy lies in the fact that Aston Martin are using Mercedes’ wind tunnel which they abandoned two years ago, but Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer previously indicated that this can lead to backroom discussions in bad faith.

READ: ‘We have to trust the FIA’: Wolff on Ferrari-powered teams’ rapid ascension

Ferrari and Haas have been criticised because of the American team’s notorious purchasing of off-the-shelf Ferrari parts, and the vastly improved form for the Scuderia’s customers has been largely accredited to this.

Wolff indicates that he is an avid believer in meritocracy, and would like the rules to be altered so that, when a team has patently done an excellent job, they are recognised for that achievement instead of being accused of cheating.

“I think it needs reform,” he said, quoted by GPFans.

“We want to avoid these kinds of discussions that we have now, the polemic around the last few days or last few weeks, everybody deserves to perform well, and people should get credit when they’ve done a good job. 

“But some of the job-hopping or entity-hopping on the same premises is just creating arguments that are not necessary for the sport.”

Article continues below

READ: ‘Now they both have a gun’: Racing driver gives take on Verstappen-Leclerc title fight

The Austrian notes that there has been much dissention regarding the use of their old wind tunnel by Aston Martin – who took over from Racing Point in 2021 – but is happy to meet halfway to help eradicate any dubious dealings between teams.

“So definitely for us, you know, we have Aston Martin in the wind tunnel that we had two years ago. Quite a shitstorm about that. We have been handling them with the utmost diligence,” he explained.

“But going forward, if we were to need to compromise our, let’s say, income ability, we need to do this, because none of the teams should be able to cooperate in a way that we’re seeing today, with some of the teams.”

Haas boss Guenther Steiner has responded to accusations that his team have been contravening regulations by copying Ferrari’s car, labelling such remarks as “ridiculous.”