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Toto Wolff

Mercedes and Red Bull still struggling with major 2022 rule change

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his team are working hard to try to reduce their car's weight, as they have started the season over the minimum limit.

Hamilton Bahrain
Article
To news overview © Michael Potts / RacingNews365

One of Mercedes' main priorities for this season will be trying to reduce their car's weight, with team boss Toto Wolff admitting that the W13 is one of the most overweight on the grid.

F1's minimum weight requirement for car and driver was set at 795 kilogrammes coming into the 2022 season, but was recently increased to 798 kilogrammes as several teams struggled to get their cars light enough to be anywhere near the limit.

Wolff has explained that Mercedes, together with 2021 title rivals Red Bull, are among the most overweight on the grid and will be working hard throughout the season to go on a diet.

"Where we stand is that, if I make a best case, then probably Red Bull [and] ourselves are, from the top 10 cars, the most overweight," Wolff told media, including RacingNews365.com, over the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend.

"Then there are some who are underweight, or just above it. That's quite a lap time advantage, or disadvantage, but [we can] be clever about it.

"Some have taken the decision to go live and are benefitting from that at the moment. I think there's, for us, definitely room to improve, and to chip away some of the bits that we have on the car that are too heavy."

No concerns that the budget cap could play a part

A major consideration to be taken into account this season as teams chase more performance is the tightening budget cap, with team expenditure limited to $140 million dollars.

Despite this added constraint, Wolff isn't concerned that it could have an impact on how Mercedes chase extra performance over the season, relative to the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari.

"In a competition with Red Bull and Ferrari, it has no relevance," he commented.

"We were always in the same league of spending and, in the same way, we are in the same league of spending now.

"There will be diminishing returns over the medium- to long-term. The field is going to become even closer in terms of lap time differentiation.

"I've no doubt that, when we unlock the potential that's in the car, we will be playing with the guys in front."

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