Mercedes: 2019 aero rules could shake up order
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes changes to aerodynamic regulations for 2019 could mix up Formula 1's competitive order, and allow a team to gain an early advantage.
The new front wing, which is 200mm wider and 25mm deeper and is a more simplistic design, is designed to improve overtaking.
A revision to make the brake ducts a more simple design will also be implemented as part of F1's push to improve the racing ahead of a larger regulation overhaul in 2021.
Earlier this year, Williams' Paddy Lowe said the incoming change is making it harder for F1 teams to judge aerodynamic targets.
The approval of the 2019 rule changes came in July, but required further discussion between F1 and the teams in order to close loopholes that had arisen.
Wolff believes the aero changes can change the F1 competitive order.
Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Director of Motorsport
Photo by: Steve Etherington / LAT Images
“I think that the biggest impact will be the completely new aerodynamic regulations,” said Wolff when asked about 2019.
“That will change everything upside down. Somebody might find a loophole or an innovation or understand how these cars work earlier than others.
“I think there’s a big big variable in those regulations next year, and we could even have teams being right up there that are not on the radar today.”
Mercedes has won 72 races since 2014's regulation overhaul that put more emphasis on engine performance, with Ferrari and Red Bull - with Renault power - winning only 13 and 11 races respectively.
Red Bull will switch from Renault engines to Honda next year, with the team believing the Japanese manufacturer now offers a better package.
The new engine paired team's renowned chassis development edge has raised hopes it can challenge Mercedes and Ferrari more consistently next season.
When Wolff was asked if he expected Red Bull to be competitive from the start of 2019, he said: “Yeah, it could well be.
"Because we've seen there's no more pattern anymore, there's not one team that dominates one kind of circuit.
“It has changed, and the Honda engine certainly looks very powerful now, and Red Bull is a good group of racers.”
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