Apr.9 (GMM) Toto Wolff thinks Red Bull and Max Verstappen are “the benchmark” in Formula 1 now.
Ferrari has gotten its new era with the revolutionary 2022 rules off to a flying start, but after fighting so hard for the 2021 title, Mercedes’ Wolff thinks Red Bull is in the best situation with its new car.
“If Red Bull is still losing weight, they are the benchmark,” he told Kronen Zeitung.
The Austrian also told De Telegraaf newspaper that last year “was not Max’s last title”.
“Regardless of the discussions that have gone on, I have a lot of respect for him and also for his father Jos,” Wolff insisted.
Mercedes, on the other hand, has had to accept that its utter dominance of the former rules era between 2014 and 2021 is now over.
When asked what the strategy for Melbourne will be, Wolff said: “We will try some things again without expecting to be a second faster.”
Some think Mercedes’ biggest problem is the engine, or the new E10 fuel, but Wolff says the most work is being put into solving extreme ‘porpoising’.
“We underestimated the aero effect of the underbody and are now trying to solve that without going the obvious route,” he said.
“The easiest thing would be to make the floor stiffer. But we believe we can maintain the aerodynamic performance without that.
“Since the extremely high speeds cannot be tested in the simulator, this has to be learned on the track. We’re getting closer step by step, but the others aren’t asleep.
“And they already understood this problem in February.”
Wolff refuses to admit that Lewis Hamilton may not win a single grand prix in 2022, even if he admits that it will be “difficult to catch up”.
Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher told Sky Deutschland: “The update they need will have to be huge.
“And the problem with that is that you can’t test it. That’s why it will take them a long time.”