Toto Wolff gets his wish as FIA clamps down on Red Bull and Ferrari advantage with sweeping rule change

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is reportedly extremely happy after hearing about the FIA’s proposed rule change starting from next season.

Mercedes has struggled ever since it got its design for the W13 wrong ahead of pre-season.

Since then, the team has been looking to minimise the effect of porpoising that many other teams have also faced under new regulations this season.

The FIA has already brought a change as far as that is concerned for this season after concerns were raised about the long-term impact it can have on a driver’s body.

This debate caught duel after Lewis Hamilton walked out of his car at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix clutching his back.

Rivals Red Bull have stuck firm to the fact that this is just a tactic used by Mercedes to help limit the damage of a failed design from earlier this season.

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto has concurred with this opinion.

However, the FIA has found greater merit in Mercedes’ argument and has announced that rules will be changed starting next season.

FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem said: “Having discussed the porpoising issue with all 20 F1 drivers & 10 team principals, I’m happy to confirm that we will be submitting updated 2023 Technical Regulations to the WMSC this week.

“Apart from this, measures have already been taken for the remainder of this season.”

Will Mercedes benefit from these changes?

Toto Wolff and Christian Horner. Credit: motorsport.com
Toto Wolff and Christian Horner. Credit: motorsport.com

Wolff and his Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner were at loggerheads during the Canadian Grand prix. Here, Wolff accused Red Bull of “playing political games” to hold on to its competitive advantage.

“It’s going to be very interesting. Let’s see if the difference in ride height makes a difference for the teams that drive that low,” Wolff said.

“I don’t believe in silver bullets about us suddenly being three tenths faster than anyone else, but it will be interesting.”

Ferrari boss Binotto was far from convinced with what he heard from the Austrian.

He said that Wolff was only complaining since Mercedes was just not competitive enough this season.

“I hope there won’t be any changes, I don’t see any real reasons to make changes to the technical regulations for safety reasons, especially if we look at the latest races,” Binotto told Motorsport.com Italy.

“There are no reasons to introduce changes to the technical regulation by citing safety reasons. So, I think it can’t happen, and if it does, we’ll try to figure out how to stop them.”

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