Wolff Admits Mercedes Underestimated This ‘Immense Factor’ In 2021 Title Fight

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has said that the Silver Arrows underestimated an “immense factor” going into the 2021 season – and this initially put them on the back foot in their Championship battle with Red Bull.

The Brackley-based team struggled in pre-season testing in Bahrain, but they now seem to be roughly on par with Red Bull and currently lead the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship after a torrid last two races for their Championship rival.

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In an interview this week, Wolff said they underestimated the impact the tweaked 2021 aero regulations – which saw teams lose a considerable amount of downforce from the rear of their cars – would have on their car’s low-rake design philosophy.

“One immense factor is that the aero regulations that have been changed from 2020 to ’21 hit us much more than Red Bull,” the Austrian said.

“The fact is that we underestimated, so that is our own mistake, the regulatory change.

“We thought we can compensate for the deficit we had because we had actually quite a big performance advantage last season,” he explained.

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Continuing, Wolff said they “realised pretty soon in testing that we had a problem, and sorting that out, if you have a sheer lack of downforce, is very difficult.

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“We’ve been struggling a lot with it but slowly but surely we are crawling back, but that is the single biggest factor.”

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