Toto Wolff reveals FIA dream to hurt Max Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton recently called on the FIA to take action to curb Max Verstappen's dominance of Formula 1.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is hoping that a new Technical Directive (TD) will slow Red Bull by “half a second”, although he fears that it’s very unlikely.

The FIA have put a new TD into effect from the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix onwards, to police flexi-wings better.

Front and rear wing flexibility will be watched much closer by the governing body, to ensure that teams aren’t gaining significant aerodynamic performance by having wings which bend more than they’re legally permitted.

It means that teams which have been exploiting the rulebook should in theory see a reduction in performance, something which Wolff is hoping will be the case for Red Bull.

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He notes though, that Aston Martin have already become weaker in some recent races, something which could be down to the side reducing the amount their wings bend.

“It’s going to be interesting, I think, with the Aston Martin, you’ve seen that they made a step backwards with the wings moving less or whatever,” Wolff told media including

“I don’t know, let’s wait and see. I don’t know who is exploiting that to more [of a] degree, not a bigger degree than others.

“But if maybe a Red Bull is half a second slower or something, that would be nice, but I don’t think it will be the case.”

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Regardless of the effect the TD has, Wolff does believe that Mercedes can make the improvements necessary to catch Red Bull.

The Silver Arrows have made progress in 2023 but are still comfortably slower than the Austrians, forcing the Brackley-based team to see what Aston Martin and McLaren are doing.

Both of their customer teams have introduced upgrades which have seen improvements of around half a second, whereas Mercedes’ upgrades this season have typically improved them by a couple of tenths.

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Therefore, Wolff believes that if Mercedes can introduce a package which can improve them by around half a second, then they’re “back into the game”.

“I think where we are, we just need to we just need a step that McLaren and Aston Martin have achieved in one go,” Wolff explained.

“You know, not making a two-tenths update, but a five-tenths update also and then you’re back into the game. So yeah, I think it’s possible.”