Wolff: Team principals trying to manipulate what is said, just pitiful

Wolff: Team principals trying to manipulate what is said, just pitiful

Toto Wolff slammed manipulative team principals that brief their drivers what to say regarding Formula 1‘s ongoing “porpoising” row as pitiful.

The Mercedes team boss was speaking to the media after qualifying in Montreal on Saturday, with the main topic being the FIA’s recent drive to reduce the bouncing of the 2022 F1 cars which, like everything in F1, has created controversy and debate.

“This is a sport where you’re trying to keep a competitive advantage or gain it,” Wolff began. “But this situation has clearly gone too far.

“All drivers, at least one in every team have said that they were in pain after Baku and that they had difficulty in keeping the car on track or blurred vision.

“Team principals are trying to manipulate what is being said in order to keep the competitive advantage,” Wolff claimed. “They are trying to play political games when the FIA tries to come up with a quick solution to at least put the cars in a better position is disingenuous

Wolff not only concerned about Mercedes

“And that’s what I said: I think we want the cars to be, all of the cars, because I’m not only talking about the Mercedes. All of the cars suffered in some way or other in Baku, and still do it here.

“The cars are too stiff” he insisted. “The cars bounce or whatever you want to call it. As a matter of fact, this is a joint problem we are having in Formula 1.

“It’s a design issue and not a fundamental design issue that needs to be solved. We have long term effects that we can’t even judge.

“But at anytime this is a safety risk and then coming up with little manipulations in the background or Chinese whispers or briefing the drivers is just pitiful,” the Austrian insisted.

Wolff himself, and Mercedes have been accused of raising this storm around “porpoising”, because their W13 is the worst car of the 2022 lot to suffer from it, and the eight-time Constructors’ Champions are unable to sort it out, hence their push to change the regulations.

All drivers are complaining about this

When this was pointed out to him, Wolff responded: “So of course, people will question whether my position is sincere or not. That’s why I’m saying it’s not only our problem.

“If a Red Bull driver says you reach 300 kilometres an hour, which is when the issue comes up, and with these problems, ‘you can even lose your vision when braking or not being able to position the car properly’ said Perez,” he added basing his argument on a quote from Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.

“Then you listen to the words of Sainz, you listen to what Ricardo has said, we listen to what Ocon has said, Magnussen and both our drivers.

“This is not a team’s problem,” he the Mercedes boss reiterated.

“”This is a design issue of ground effect cars that needs to be tackled before we have a situation, whatever it is, and it is not just by putting the cars up but because the cars putting the cars up doesn’t solve the stiffness of the inherent aerodynamic characteristics,” Wolff maintained.

(Additional reporting by Agnes Carlier)