Toto Wolff defends Mercedes lobbying FIA as he hits out at ‘bored’ Christian Horner

The technical regulations are set to change next season, while alterations are also being made for the remainder of 2022.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes that, were Red Bull team boss Christian Horner in his position, he would also be asking the FIA to make changes to the technical regulations.

Mercedes have been struggling for performance this season due to “porpoising” and bouncing, which was caused by the ground effect aerodynamics under the new technical regulations.

Performance on the straights has been affected by the phenomenon, and the handling of the car in the corners proved difficult when they tried to raise the ride height early in the season.

However, lap time has not been the only factor to what has been a tough year for the Silver Arrows; the violent contact with the track surface also became unsafe.

READ: Christian Horner compares himself to Man Utd football legend when asked about Toto Wolff tensions

In Azerbaijan, Sir Lewis Hamilton was left struggling to clamber out of his car due to back pain, so the FIA intervened with a technical directive at the Canadian Grand Prix a week later.

The governing body measured the cars to see how much they were oscillating, and any team with a car that bounces too much can now be told to raise their rode height.

There will be restrictions on the flexing planks that some teams have been using, as well as moving skid blocks that reduce wear and enable teams to run longer with a smooth ride.

Next season, the front wing floor edges will now be raised by 15mm – down from the initial 25 – while the diffuser throat is also set to be raised.

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More cynically, there have been suspicions from the Red Bull and Ferrari camps that the Silver Arrows pushed for the new regulations under the disguise of safety so that they could climb back to the front of the grid.

Horner indicated that the German team, upon realising that their unique design was not working within the current parameters, are now getting the governing body to intervene for them.

“I think there’s an awful lot of lobbying to change regulations significantly for next year so a certain team can run its car lower and benefit from that concept,” said the Briton while speaking to Sky Sports.

Wolff, however, cites Horner’s history of lobbying, an example being the engine mode changes in 2020 when Mercedes were dominating.

The Austrian suggested that, were the roles reversed, Red Bull would be doing the same thing as Mercedes right now. 

“I think he’s just bored up there at the top, that’s nice for him,” Wolff told

“So he doesn’t do any lobbying? He sits in the office and doesn’t call anyone and just does his thing?

“Working with the FIA is always part of it so I don’t know what he’s referring to, but in the end we are both part of the same circus.

“Of course, if you’re at the front, you want to make sure nothing changes. And if you’re not at the front, you want to make sure a lot of things are changing, those are the two positions it’s about.”

Hamilton and George Russell have managed seven podiums in the last six races, and there have been signs that their pace is nearly back on par with Ferrari and Red Bull at the front.

However, the bouncing problems they have been experiencing since day one are still creeping up on them.

READ: Toto Wolff surprisingly admits Mercedes gained ‘advantage’ by pressuring the FIA

Wolff also reckons that many of the drivers agree that changes were needed in the interests of safety.

“It’s not gone, the cars are far too stiff and bounce and, if you ask the drivers, a large proportion will agree – at least if you ask them anonymously,” he explained.

“There was a discussion among the drivers but nobody is talking about the outcome.

“It’s about a technical set of rules to protect the drivers, and if the cars are too stiff and bounce, you should do something about it now.”

Mercedes are currently third in the Constructors’ Standings, 30 points behind Ferrari, and 127 behind leaders Red Bull.