Wolff “surprised” as Horner reveals details of meeting

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says he’s not happy that Christian Horner chose to reveal details of this morning’s F1 Strategy Group meeting, in which three Mercedes teams opposed an engine unfreeze for 2015.

Horner made it clear that he was frustrated by Mercedes initially supporting an unfreeze and then changing its mind. In today’s meeting the works team, Williams and 2015 customer Lotus all voted against a change, but lost out on a majority vote (see earlier story). The plan will now go to the F1 Commission.

“First of all I’m very surprised to hear comments like this,” Wolff told this writer. “Because we had a strategy group this morning, and what we discuss in strategy group meetings is what it says, strategy, and not something that should go to the public.

“No decision has been made because it has to go to the F1 Commission and the World Motor Sport Council, so talking about unfinished business is not how I expect meetings to go.

“We are having discussions all over the year about regulations, and in that case there are some ideas out there, how to change the regulations for next year and the year after, and it’s normal discussion.

“As I said, I’m very surprised that we talk about these things in public. This is a Strategy Group, and what we need to avoid is to make a big wave before decisions are being made. If you understand the process, the Strategy Group makes recommendations to the F1 Commission, and the F1 Commission makes the vote. Nothing else has happened.”

Regarding the principle of an ‘unfreeze’ he said: “I think what we need is no knee-jerk reactions in F1, we need stability. This is not because of my own agenda, because we have the best engine and we want to immobilise or freeze the situation. We have rules, the rules have been written down, some clever people thought about the rules. If we want to change them, let’s discuss them, let’s follow them, let’s follow the governance, and let’s see if it make sense or not. And we are the first ones to follow intelligent ideas.”

10 Comments

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10 responses to “Wolff “surprised” as Horner reveals details of meeting

  1. Scott

    Translation: we don’t want the racing fans to blame us when we veto a change that would improve the sport.

    How the current ‘frozen’ rule was allowed with a brand new engine formula I can’t understand. Its one thing to freeze mature engines, its just stupid to freeze brand new ones.

    • GeorgeK

      Spot on Scott.
      I also am surprised at Toto’s “surprise” reaction to Horner’s “revelation”. I guess Toto’s never heard of the Pirhana Club. Too bad since he seems to swim well with it.

  2. proesterchen

    Funny, earlier this year, Mr Wolff and the Mercedes teams saw it fit to disregard the written rules and even managed to blackmail the (superior) competition into not opposing them.

    That, of course, was in DTM. Which makes it _totally_ different.

    • Christi@n

      This was exactly what I thought as well.

      When Norbert Haug was in charge of Mercedes Motorsport he looked after the DTM project as well and he tried to reach that Mercedes is in all series well established and presented.
      Wolff is only interessted in F1 and bought the success in the expense of the DTM project. When it became clear that Mercedes is behind its competitors in DTM than he played the rule maker card and blackmailed the others. So Mercedes got the success in F1 and now they are level with the others in DTM for free as well. If Mercedes would have divided its ressources from the beginning than they never would have been so competitve in F1 in first place.
      Wolff is a shame for Mercedes and F1 too.

  3. petes

    So Lotus supported Mercedes. Hope they got a discounted price for taking that stance. Or was it a case of no support, no supply?

  4. Question – how was this ‘outvoted’?

    I’m assuming the FIA (6 votes) and Mercedes, Lotus and Williams voted to maintain the freeze. That’s 9 votes against, whereas FOM (6 votes), Red Bull, Ferrari and (my guess) McLaren gave 9 votes to relax the freeze.

    It should have been a hung decision.

    • anon

      Horner has previously claimed that the FIA supported their position – now, that might not mean that the FIA actually voted with them, but it is possible that the FIA could have chosen to abstain and therefore the vote was able to pass because of that action.

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