Wolff: Engine mode ban can make Mercedes faster in race

Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff believes the upcoming ban on engine modes in qualifying will potentially give the team more performance in races.

Wolff: Engine mode ban can make Mercedes faster in race

The FIA wrote to the teams last week informing them of a plan to allow only one mode for qualifying and the race, with details to be confirmed by a technical directive before the Belgian GP.

The change has been framed by the FIA as an attempt to help its technical staff a better chance of ensuring compliance with the regulations.

However, inevitably many observers see it also as an attempt to rein in Mercedes, the manufacturer that has traditionally made the biggest performance gains when it matters in qualifying.

“I think the primary goal of the FIA was to implement the rule to better understand and better analyse what is going on with the engines,” said Wolff.

“It’s a very complex method between the combustion engine and all the energy recovery system, and having one mode it becomes more easy for the FIA to really see if everything is in compliance.”

Regarding the suggestion that Mercedes was being reined in, he said: “It has always been the case in F1 that pulling back the leaders, or what supposedly are the leaders, is something that is good for the sport.

“We see it very much as a challenge. We have a good quali mode and we are able to give it a little bit more power in that last session.

“But if that is not possible anymore because everything needs to be smoothed out over the race, then it’s not a deficit for us.

“On the contrary, we think we can translate it into more performance in the race. That is something that is a great challenge for us that will take on once the rule is implemented.”

Read Also:

Elaborating on that theme, Wolff made it clear that qualifying modes currently have a cost in terms of how much performance is then available for races.

Thus it follows that if qualifying modes cannot be used then the power unit can potentially be run harder in races.

“I think we don’t lack performance on Saturdays. We had until now quite a margin. We struggled in some of the races where we were quite limited in powerful engine modes, and if F1 were to ban in-season certain power unit modes, then I think it will actually help us in the race.

“If you can avoid damaging your power unit in those few qualifying laps that you have available, in Q3 and then the odd lap in the race, the damage metrics goes down dramatically.

“So five laps of quali mode not being done gives us 25 laps of more performance in the race, and that is something we believe will give us more performance.

“You must take into effect even if it may hurt us more in qualifying, which I’m not sure, and it’s a couple of tenths, then it will hurt all the others in the same way.

“But for us, we are always very marginal on what we can extract from the power unit, and if we were to be limited in qualifying modes, then well, we will be stronger in the race.” 

 

  

shares
comments

Related video

Does Kimi Raikkonen deserve to stay in F1 next year?

Previous article

Does Kimi Raikkonen deserve to stay in F1 next year?

Next article

McLaren: Testing at new F1 tracks would send “wrong sign”

McLaren: Testing at new F1 tracks would send “wrong sign”
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Mercedes
Author Adam Cooper
How F1's street track return can offer Verstappen redemption Prime

How F1's street track return can offer Verstappen redemption

Red Bull has failed to capitalise on having the best car in the opening rounds. BEN EDWARDS thinks change is around the corner.

The AlphaTauri improvements that mean Gasly’s form is no fluke Prime

The AlphaTauri improvements that mean Gasly’s form is no fluke

Pierre Gasly has driven superbly since demotion from Red Bull in 2019, but the team formerly known as Toro Rosso has come on strong too – building a car that can often challenge Ferrari and McLaren. Here Gasly reveals to ALEX KALINAUCKAS how AlphaTauri has given him the tools needed to rebuild his reputation

Formula 1
May 17, 2021
Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Prime

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to Stuart Codling, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion.

Formula 1
May 15, 2021
How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021