Wolff on Horner’s lobbying accusations: “He’s just bored at the front”

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Toto Wolff has dismissed threats from certain F1 teams to legally fight the FIA’s tweak to the 2023 regulations, saying they’re “just posing”.

The FIA has announced they will start to enforce their ‘anti-porpoising’ technical directive at the Belgian Grand Prix. The TD will also prevent certain teams from running illegal ‘flexi-floors’.

The governing organization also plans to tweak the 2023 technical regulations to definitely put an end to both issues, and some teams are threatening legal action to prevent this from happening.

Mercedes’ team boss Toto Wolff says he believes these teams are “just posing”.

“You wonder why they are fighting so hard,” the Austrian said.

“Because I read in the media that it’s not relevant, it’s not a big change, so why are you fighting [so much] that you’re threatening to go legal?

“No team is ever going to go legal against the FIA, number one. Plus, if the FIA decides to implement something on safety grounds. So I think this is just posing.”

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Despite ‘porpoising’ not being a big issue on the tracks Formula 1 has visited recently, Wolff says the problem has not been solved, so the FIA’s intervention is still needed.

“I think it’s just business as usual. There is an inherent issue of cars that we are not seeing here, that we’ve not seen in Austria, neither did we see it in Silverstone, because the tracks are the flattest of the year.

“But it didn’t go away. The cars are way too stiff and they bounce. And if you ask the driver, you will probably have a majority that will, if asked anonymously, tell you that.

“I think there was such a discussion among the drivers and there’s also an outcome that nobody talks about. And I think we’ll see where that goes.”

Asked if Mercedes would be willing to compromise on the measures that the FIA plans to take, for example raising the car’s floor by 10mm, rather than originally planned 25mm, Wolff said:

“I think it’s not a matter of compromise about technical regulations, it is about technical regulations that protect the drivers and, if these cars are too stiff and too bouncy, then let’s do something right now about it,” argued the Austrian.

“Clearly when you’re running in the front you just want to just make sure that nothing changes, and when you’re not running at the front, you want to make sure that a lot changes.

“So these are the two spectrums of positions that this is really about. Let’s just ask the drivers.”

Red Bull’s team boss Christian Horner has been very vocal with his criticism of the FIA’s intervention, and he accused Mercedes of lobbying for changes, which would help their performance.

Toto doesn’t put much stock into what Horner is saying.

“I think he’s just bored at the front. So good for him. Trying to work with the FIA is always part of it.

“I don’t know what he refers to because, at the end, we are all part of the same circus. We work with the same stakeholders.

“Is he not lobbying? He sits in his office, he doesn’t call anyone, and does his thing?” Wolff concluded.

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