Toto Wolff fires Renault ‘disaster’ warning

Renault are claiming to be 30hp down on the rest of the F1 power unit suppliers.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has warned that giving Renault an engine boost would be a “disaster” for Formula 1.

The F1 commission rejected Alpine’s proposal last Friday to allow them to run illegal fuel rates, to help their Renault power unit produce a more similar amount of power to Ferrari, Mercedes and Honda.

The French manufacturer have claimed that they are 30hp behind the other power unit suppliers, something the FIA have agreed with following independent checks.

The governing body believe Renault are at least 22hp behind everybody else, yet the F1 commission still decided to reject the appeal.

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Several manufacturers and teams complained to the F1 commission prior to the rejection being announced, something which likely played a part in their decision.

Despite this, the FIA have insisted that there is a “notable performance gap” between Alpine and the rest of the field, which has resulted in the F1 commission referring the situation to the Power Unit Advisory Committee to investigate “ways to remedy this discrepancy”.

Wolff is very pleased that the appeal was rejected after claiming that such things should never be allowed, and that it’d be a “disaster” that “could ruin Formula 1”.

“Entertainment follows sport,” Wolff told Sport1. “The reason why sport is so credible is that you just have to work hard to be successful.”

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Despite this, Wolff is open to Renault receiving some help to close the gap, but that what the French company wanted “shouldn’t even be talked about”.

“Once we have a common understanding of what the missing performance is, we can discuss how many more dyno hours and jokers can be given out,” said the Mercedes team boss and co-owner.

“That’s something we need to discuss. But touching any kind of area like fuel flow or ‘balance of performance’ is a disaster and a declaration of bankruptcy for Formula 1.

“It shouldn’t even be talked about,” Wolff insisted.

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Alpine are enduring a very mixed season, yet Pierre Gasly still managed to finish third last Saturday in the Belgian Grand Prix sprint race, much to the team’s delight.

It was back to reality on Sunday for Gasly though, as he finished 11th.

Esteban Ocon salvaged four points in eighth.