Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff compared the title fights his team had with Red Bull with those they experienced with Ferrari, and believes the Scuderia made more mistakes.
Mercedes had an epic battle with Red Bull during the 2021 Formula 1 season, after which the former clinched their eighth consecutive Constructors’ Title, with Max Verstappen winning the Drivers’ Crown for the former.
Before that, Mercedes had title duels with Ferrari especially in 2017 and 2018, and less so in 2019. But Ferrari had a super engine in 2019 – later deemed illegal by the FIA – and where able to fight Mercedes in certain tracks mainly in Monza and Spa where Charles Leclerc won for the Reds on his debut season with them.
One thing was common after those three seasons, and that was Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton taking home the title doubles with Ferrari always coming up short.
In a recent interview with Auto Motor und Sport, Toto Wolff reflected on their latest fight with Red Bull and explained how it differed from the one they faced with Ferrari.
“With the Ferrari, the power came from the engine,” he said. “We knew then that we could beat them if we managed to compensate for the deficit on the straights. Ferrari also made more mistakes.
“With Red Bull it was an open exchange of blows, like two boxers taking turns throwing punches,” Wolff added.
The Austrian then explained how his team differed from Red Bull, and said: “It’s hard for me to judge how Red Bull is set up internally.
“Our strength is our attitude and the values we always stick to. Maybe we can solve problems faster and better because we always take the approach: What did we do wrong?” he revealed.
Wolff has no worries for 2022
Wolff believes that the new regulations for 2022 might mix the F1 pecking order up in their first year of existence, but a combination of cost cap and the prescriptive nature of the new regulations will ensure no team will have a significant advantage over the field.
“I believe that the budget cap will bring a lot of things into line,” he said. “If one finds a loophole and runs away with it, everyone will copy it. The cars will all be very similar.
“There may still be differences in the first year. After that, it will even out. There won’t be a team that’s a second ahead anymore,” the Mercedes boss predicted.
Regardless of what Wolff says, but the smart money will be on Mercedes and Red Bull coming up with the best cars yet again under the new regulations, but with Red Bull pushing on with their development on their RB16B till the end of the 2021 season, an opportunity might rise for Mercedes to be ahead.
Wolff disagrees and said: “We thought that last year, too. Then the regulations were changed and our time advantage was gone.
“The development curve for the 2022 cars is still rising so sharply at the moment that you can’t predict who will do it better and more cleverly,” he warned.
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