Wolff blasts ‘pitiful’ team bosses trying to keep “competitive advantage”

© Sebastian Kawka for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

Toto Wolff blasts team bosses “trying to manipulate what is being said in order to keep the competitive advantage”, amid ‘porposing’ row.

After the FIA announced they will implement certain steps to reduce porpoising, the teams and drivers have been involved in a heated debate over what the right thing to do is.

While everybody agrees ‘porpoising’ is hazardous to drivers’ health and safety, certain team bosses have been saying an FIA intervention is not necessary, and each team should have to deal with the problem in their own way.

The most vocal has been Red Bull’s Christian Horner, whose team sits at the top of the championship standings.

On Saturday Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has blasted team principals opposing the intervention, and said they were being “disingenuous”.

“This is a sport where you’re trying to keep a competitive advantage or gain it,” the Austrian said.

“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, that they had difficulty in keeping the car on track or blurred vision.

“Team principals trying to manipulate what is being said in order to keep the competitive advantage and 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. And that’s what I said.

“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. The cars bounce or whatever you want to call it.

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“We have long-term effects that we can’t even judge. But at any time 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.”

Wolff added that even Red Bull’s drivers have been vocal about the problem of ‘porpoising’.

“Of course, people will question whether my position is sincere or not. That’s why I’m saying it’s not only our problem.

“But if a Red Bull driver says you reach 300 km/h, 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’, as Perez said.

“Then you listen to the words of [Carlos] Sainz, you listen to what [Daniel] Ricciardo has said, we listen to what [Esteban] Ocon has said, [Kevin] Magnussen and both our drivers.

“This is not a team’s problem. 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, because putting the cars up doesn’t solve the stiffness of the inherent aerodynamic characteristics,” Wolff concluded.

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