Toto Wolff gave his comments on the controversy surrounding Racing Point “copying” last year’s Mercedes and Vettel possibly joining the team next year.
Ever since pre-season testing it was obvious that Racing Point’s new design will be a force to be reckoned with. The problem is that the RP20 seems to be somewhat of a copy of Mercedes’ 2019 W10, prompting the media to call it “the pink Mercedes”.
At first the teams were just commenting on the legallity of Racing Point’s design, but last week Renault officialy protested the car’s brake ducts.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says this year’s Racing Point is a testament that smaller teams can compete with the big outfits
“All the complaining we heard last year that the smaller teams are never able to compete for podiums and race wins is being shown it’s absurd, because Racing Point is right up there, they are faster in some corners than we are, and it’s a good challenge to see that,” said Wolff.
“I have no doubt Racing Point will be a hard nut to crack on some of the circuits for us as well.
“I’m happy for Racing Point because we were hearing in the past years always that the smaller teams on the smaller budgets were not able to compete at the front.
“And here we go, somebody with a vision and an idea of where to prioritise has managed to really make the jump from the midfield into the top teams.
“The Racing Point is a podium contender, if not a race winning contender, going forward. It proves that with the right leadership, the right decision making process and the right funding you can actually accelerate your development curve. So lessons to be learned, and I’m happy to see them there.”
If you like SilverArrows.Net, consider supporting us by buying us a coffee!
Wolff also gave his comments on the accusations that Racing Point broke the rules by copying last year’s Mercedes.
“I can’t judge because I’m not looking under the bodywork. From outside everything has been within the regulations. Racing Point has been in close contact as far as I understand with the FIA about the whole process.
“They seem to have re-engineered our car, they have bought non-listed parts from us last year, and they are just doing a good job.
“It’s like Nikolas Tombazis [FIA’s head of single-seater technical matters] has formulated it, it’s less a technical discussion and more a philosophical discussion – should the smaller teams be allowed to be supplied parts from the bigger teams for less R&D, and the bigger teams to make some business out if it, or should everybody just develop their own chassis and own R&D?
“Which as a consequence will probably mean there’s a two-tier society even with a cost cap. So take the right decisions and deploy your resources where you think they are well deployed, and I think you can have a quick car.
“In that respect I’m happy that there is a process in place that will clarify those regulations, will make it transparent for all stakeholders what the FIA and FOM wish to happen in the future, and then we move on from that.”
Wolff, a shareholder of Aston Martin, also touched upon rumours that Sebastian Vettel might join Racing Point next year [the team will be rebranded as Aston Martin].
“Firstly, the fact that I am a shareholder in the car company has nothing to do with the F1 team,” Wolff explained.
“I am also not involved in the negotiations between Lawrence Stroll, Otmar Szafnauer and Sebastian. Obviously I know Sebastian very well and we communicate, but it’s mostly informal.
“Sergio Perez is of course a valuable asset of that team, while on the other hand Sebastian is a four-time world champion who can also attract the attention of sponsors.
“It will be Lawrence who makes the decision,” concluded the Austrian.