Mercedes' Toto Wolff urges F1 chiefs to not change rules

Apr 19, 2016, 08:31 IST | PA Sport

An outspoken Toto Wolff has urged Formula One not to tear up the rulebook after an enthralling start to the new season

London: An outspoken Toto Wolff has urged Formula One not to tear up the rulebook after an enthralling start to the new season.

Toto Wolff. Pic/AFP
Toto Wolff. Pic/AFP

Wolff, the Mercedes boss, fears the regulation changes for 2017, which are set to be given the green light later this month, will lead to one team dominating the sport.

Mercedes have won 35 of the last 41 grands prix, while also sewing up successive driver and team titles, and they are on course to complete a hat-trick in 2016.

But despite Nico Rosberg winning the opening three rounds, Ferrari appear to be ever closer to catching the Silver Arrows, while Red Bull, who enjoyed a similarly dominant spell between 2010 and 2013, have also raised their game over the winter.

Indeed the first three rounds of the championship in Australia, Bahrain and here in China, have been among the most entertaining to a new campaign in recent times.

Asked why the rules - with the addition of greater downforce actually expected to decrease overtaking opportunities - are set to change again, Wolff replied: "I don't know."

Formula One's chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has been a long-term critic of Mercedes' dominance. Earlier this year he described the sport as the "worst it's ever been" and said he would not purchase a ticket to a race.

"Even if it is uncomfortable for the commercial rights holder that we have been running away with lots of the races and two championships, the longer you keep the regulations stable, the more the performance is going to converge between everybody and this is what is happening now," Wolff added.

"The gains we are making are smaller because the curve flattens out and the others are making bigger steps.

"We are having an ideal situation with great racing and three great races in a row now.

"Are we capable of reacting quick enough and acknowledging that and reverting to regulations which seem to be okay now? I don't know."

Wolff, who will appear alongside Lewis Hamilton, Rosberg and Niki Lauda with Mercedes set to be crowned the team of the year at the Laureus Sports Awards in Berlin on Monday evening, continued: "Somebody else, or us, will run away with the championship next year because it is new regulations and everything starts from the beginning.

"There is no selling proposition within the regulations in my opinion. We should just leave it alone.

"That is me speaking out against ourselves, because clearly we don't have the advantage we had last year but the racing is great and it will become even greater if we leave the regulations alone."

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