Red Bull are walking on water at the start of the Formula 1 season, unlike Mercedes. The German team, used to playing the leading roles in Formula 1, is plagued by doubts, while its rivals are improving, they are stuck with last season’s concept having taken the decision to continue development into this year. The new car is now 49 points behind Red Bull after two races and neither Hamilton nor Toto Wolff are happy about it.
Toto Wolff is not known for being quiet in times of crisis. Since the beginning of the season, Wolff has seen that the Mercedes car is not worthy of being at the front of the field and is therefore working to find a solution, even if it means copying the car of his rival. Namely Red Bull.
For many, such a move is tantamount to ‘cheating’, and if Mercedes wish to be successful in the endeavor, they might need to cheat the budget cap to do so.
“Look at Aston…”
In an interview reported by motorsport.com, Toto Wolff began by using Aston Martin as an example:
“What Aston Martin has done proves that in the space of six or seven months, you can gain a lot of lap time, which allows you to play at the front.
“So it’s good to see. It’s good for all of us to see that you never have to write off a season if you can do these things.
“I think the most important changes we made were to look at where we wanted to position the car in its comfort zone. We were too low last year, we were too high this year. And now we think we know what to build on.
“Obviously, everything else will follow in terms of what we need to do with the floor and the bodywork. So I don’t want to sound too foolishly optimistic, but at least we’re seeing things coming along that are encouraging.”
Perhaps what hasn’t been said with this reference to Aston Martin Racing, is an ‘open secret’ within the paddock. For want of a better word, the big teams can ‘cheat’ and now AMR F1 team has joined the elite club of big spenders, it appears that the Silverstone based team may well have joined the club.
Earlier this month, Wolff was in the press saying that he has never seen such a leap forward in F1 when describing Aston Martin’s progress over the winter. The Austrian said it was made possible by former Red Bull employee Dan Fallows in an apparent effort to deflect the discussion away from the real reasons behind the story of success.
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Mercedes publically claiming a ‘B spec’ car not possible
Wolff last weekend also claimed that a full B spec chassis wasn’t possible under the budget cap, but the new car would look considerably different in a few races time. Suspicious statement aside, quite how a team can completely redesign the car aero concept without significantly altering the chassis would be classed as magical unicorn storytelling.
But the team is left with a flawed car and will likely need a vast redesign to start winning again.
This website had been given notice by a whistleblower during the filming day that the W14 car was bad, despite what was written in the press at the time. It is dubious just how much resource Mercedes will have left within the rules of the budget cap to bring about a B spec W14 car into the fight and give Lewis Hamilton and George Russell the chance to win Grand Prix.
It is perhaps this reason why Wolff is keen to push the Dan Fallows idea behind Aston’s rapid successes, knowing full well the only real means to achieve rapid success is to use the full force of dollar spend.
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Aston Martin ‘cheating’ claim
Last year, this website was contacted by a source within Aston Martin suggesting that tactics were being used to negate the budget cap, we duly reported on this in January this year. Former Aston Martin team boss Otmar Szafnauer who moved this year to Alpine Renault, also suggested this loophole in the regulations on two occasions now this year.
This ‘cheating’ loophole would allow teams to carry out development work outside the sport’s budget cap, corroborating the situation our source claims is occurring in Silverstone.
Another team source has corroborated such tactics as an ‘open secret’ and is being used by all the biggest teams as a means to negate the budget cap.
Time will tell just how radical the, “it’s not a B spec W14” is, and might also promote further questions as to how Mercedes would have afforded it.
“If it looks like a Red Bull, I don’t care”
Following on from the statement of intent to win again, Toto Wolff announced that he was prepared to copy Red Bull’s car to make Mercedes faster:
“I think at this stage there is no dogmatism about what the car should look like. It just has to be the fastest race car possible.
“And if that car looks like a Red Bull or a SpaceX rocket, I don’t care, it just has to be fast. And if it’s a Red Bull, we’ll put a little bull somewhere with a sticker, and I’ll have no shame if it’s fast.”
When the modern F1 car generates such a significant part of its downforce via the underbody ground-effect tunnels, one has to question just how a vast departure away from a Mercedes W13 / W14 concept toward the magical Red Bull Adrian Newey concept can be done without a new chassis.
Perhaps the ‘open secret’ is real after all?
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LAP 8/56:@LewisHamilton pits for @McLarenF1 !
…Wait.#MalaysiaGP 🇲🇾 pic.twitter.com/rBAk5ECAPs
— F/One (@FOne__2013) March 24, 2023
Cheat, Cheat, CopyCat! There is no limit to how low Toto and Ham will descend to have just one more win for him, forget the championship win. One race win is enough and they will celebrate it like a championship win.
Both of them being political past masters, they will do ANYTHING, justifyimng cheating and shameless copying. Recall how Toto screamed lies last year about “a massive overspend”. That triggered the Hamfosi and to this day they keep repeating the lies of cheating. Though FIA has clrified that everything is above board, there’s no stopping the toxic propaganda.
True. Without Niki, Toto, and along side a majority of the Mercedes fans, became poor loosers.