Delaying 2021 Car Development Switch will ‘Make it More Difficult to Catch Up’ – Mercedes’ Wolff

by Paul Hensby

Toto Wolff says the massive rule changes coming for the 2021 Formula 1 season will make for a difficult 2020 campaign, as they will need to put developments on the W11 whilst working hard on its successor.

The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team has unveiled their 2020 car this week with eyes on claiming another title double, but Team Principal Wolff says the drastic changes they will need to make for 2021 cannot be delayed too much as it will make it difficult to catch up to those who make the early focus switch to 2021.

“2020 is an evolution of the current regulations and the gains will be smaller, so you need more time and effort to keep improving your car,” said Wolff.  “On the other hand, the 2021 regulations are so very different that you need a lot of time to prepare for them.

“Every month you start later than your competitors will make it more difficult to catch up. You also have the effect of the cost cap which means that you will have fewer resources available to throw at things in 2021.”

Working on 2020 and 2021 cars concurrently makes the forthcoming campaign the ‘most difficult’ season, but Wolff says Mercedes will look to make the most of the ‘amazing opportunity’, with the team aiming to make it seven consecutive Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship titles.

“It’s a massive challenge,” said Toto. “We had a lot of regulatory changes in recent years, but this time we’re effectively tackling a two-year project.

“Trying to get this right will make 2020 the most difficult season, but it is also an amazing opportunity. This team has shown time and again that it loves being challenged and we will face this one with the same passion and determination that has made Mercedes so strong in recent years.”

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