Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has made it clear that he doesn’t support the 2017 F1 aerodynamic changes which are expected to be rubber stamped by April 30.
High downforce and wider tyres are part of a package that in theory has been agreed, but could yet be postponed given that lap times are already much faster this year. New engine rules, specifically relating to customer prices and guaranteed supplies, are also supposed to be signed off by the end of the month.
“There are two weeks to go until we have our final commission and strategy group meeting in order to come up with the regulations,” said Wolff. “On the engine front we are pretty much there. We have an agreement which needs to be ratified by the stakeholders, but there are lots of benefits for most of the teams in that agreement. So I am hopeful that they will be done.
“And in terms of the 2017 regulations, we voted for them and we voted for the so-called McLaren proposal a while ago. There will be discussion around it, if it is the right way forward. Of course, but I don’t think that will get the necessary majority to turn it down again and come up with something else.”
Wolff is adamant that the racing is closer this year because the rules have been stable.
“You remember what we always said. Even if it is uncomfortable for the commercial rights holder [Bernie Ecclestone] that we have been running away with lots of races and the two championships, the longer you keep regulations stable the more the performance is going to converge between everybody and this is exactly what is happening now.
“The engines are converging, the teams are converging, the gains we are making are smaller as the curve flattens out and the others are making bigger steps so I think we are having an ideal situation with great racing. 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.
“We are going to change it. Somebody else or us is going to run away with the championship next year because it is in the regulations, everything starts from the beginning. More downforce which you won’t see just on pure laptime, less overtaking because the wake is much more extreme. There is nothing to be sold on that. There is no selling proposition in those new regulations in my opinion. We should just leave it alone.
“And maybe speaking against ourselves because clearly we don’t have the advantage we had last year, but the racing is great and will become even greater if we leave the regulations alone.”