FIA questions legality of Mercedes’ upgrade, Toto Wolff responds

© Sebastian Kawka for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

Mercedes has brought a significant upgrade package to the United States Grand Prix, however the FIA has questioned the legality of its new front wing.

Mercedes has brought its final upgrade of 2022 to the United States Grand Prix, however they did not run every component in practice and qualifying.

More specifically, the FIA questioned the legality of the team’ new front wing, so they did not run it yet at the Circuit of the Americas.

The issue arose from Mercedes’ five redesigned fasteners between the two upper flats – the FIA is questioning whether their purpose is to direct the airflow outwards, which would go against the spirit of the 2022 regulations.

Mercedes claims that their purpose is simply to keep the wing together. The team can now change the size of the fasteners or keep them as they are.

Team boss Toto Wolff says the issue now is “whether we can run it or whether we think it’s good to run it”.

Asked if he could explain what needs to be changed specifically to be able to run the wing in Mexico, Wolff said:

“Well I could, but I don’t want to go in the detail because we’re thinking of running it and we had an exchange with the FIA.

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“So maybe we need to tweak a little bit here and there. But it’s not yet decided.”

As for the rest of the upgrade, Toto thinks it had the effect the team was aiming for.

“Austin didn’t look great on paper a few weeks ago and then we brought the upgrade and we are six tenths off.

“Lewis could have probably chopped two tenths away and it would have been four tenths.

“In Austin that looks like a solid result considering the weaknesses of the chassis overall.”

Ultimately, Wolff says Mercedes “need to have the mindset of saying we will race for the victory” at the US Grand Prix.

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