Wolff admits B spec car not possible in 2023

The Mercedes’ development potential is significantly limited by the Formula 1 budget cap, which team boss Toto Wolff admits will prevent a full ‘B spec’ Mercedes W14 in an attempt to turn around the fortunes of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

While the German manufacturer’s team has taken a wrong turn with its single-seater concept, Mercedes now faces the problem of the cost cap in F1.



Cost cap kills off ‘B spec’ idea

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes that the cost cap in Formula One will limit his team’s ability to develop a completely new car in the coming months.

Since the 2021 season, all teams on the grid have had to operate under a cost cap in Formula One, which has been set at $138.6m for this 2023 season. The cap covers expenses related to the performance of the car. It excludes all marketing costs, race driver fees and the costs of the team’s three highest paid employees.

Mercedes started the 2023 campaign with a car based on the concept of last year’s defunct W13, but after the first two rounds of the season the German manufacturer’s team has once again gone in the wrong direction.



‘Band aid’ approach coming

When asked if the cost cap limits his team’s ability to change concepts during the season or if it is just a matter of time, the Austrian replied, “I think the budget cap, in a way, has more positives than negatives.”

“But obviously, if you are behind, as we are at the moment, it doesn’t allow you to build a second chassis”


And this means the team is stuck with the fundamental concept of the current car for 2023. With much of the aero of significance coming from the underbody area and floor, the team will be hampered by not being able to switch fully to a new concept and chassis. Mercedes will really have to apply a ‘band aid’ approach to their aero fixes with likely over body aero surfaces changing such as wings and sidepods.



That said, Wolff remains bullish about the teams’ chances of turning things around:

“But I think our fundamental problem is not building a second chassis or introducing lots of things to the car. It’s more about a direction we’ve taken that’s wrong.”

“I think the car is going to be very different in five, six or seven races depending on the decisions we’ve made and the direction of development we’ve gone in,” he added to Sky Sports.


“But I think it’s out of the question that we change the chassis, because there’s just not enough budget in the cost cap. But changing the way the aerodynamics and bodywork work is perfectly within the framework.”

After the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, where Mercedes introduced “small developments” to its car, the German manufacturer’s team sits third in the championship on equal points with Aston Martin.

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One response to “Wolff admits B spec car not possible in 2023

  1. You can never trust what Toto says or does. Almost always, it is just the opposite of what he declares. If he says a ‘B’ spec car is not possible because of cost cap, you can be sure that work on the ‘B’ spec car is already going on and that the cost cap is being brazenly violated.
    The viciously wicked person that Toto is, he must already have planned well how to hide it and how to subvert FIA in his favour.

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