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Wolff thinks Red Bull’s penalty could benefit Mercedes



Wolff Red Bull penalty Mercedes

According to Toto Wolff, the penalty imposed on Red Bull for breaching the F1 cost cap could benefit Mercedes in the “long run.”

For breaching the F1 cost cap, Red Bull received a penalty consisting of a $7m fine and a 10% reduction in aerodynamic development time for the upcoming 12 months. As a result, their permitted allocation for the 2023 F1 season has been reduced from 70% to 63%.

The consequences of the penalty have been heavily discussed, with Red Bull’s team principal Christian Horner and Max Verstappen seemingly holding different views on the matter.

During the unveiling of Mercedes W14 challenger, Toto Wolff spoke to the media, including, stating that he believes Red Bull performed exceptionally well last year by producing a car that was more than half a second faster than any other team.

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Wolff also mentioned that the reduced aerodynamic development time for Red Bull could be disadvantageous for them and provide an advantage for Mercedes this season.

Wolff did emphasize that Red Bull, being an efficient organization, should be capable of mitigating the impact of such a penalty.

He explained that with an efficient operation, Red Bull should be able to compensate for or overcome a significant portion of the penalty.

Wolff further added that from a long-term perspective, the penalty could work in favor of Mercedes. However, he acknowledged that Mercedes faced a similar situation in the past two seasons without any penalty, where they had fewer wind tunnel hours than their competitors, yet they were still able to emerge victorious.


He added that the penalty would definitely impact Red Bull to some extent, but given their efficiency as an organization, it may not be significant.


Mercedes is looking forward to making a comeback in the title race this season with their newly launched W14 car, following a difficult 2022 season where they fell behind Red Bull and Ferrari in the F1 pecking order.

During the launch of RB19 earlier this month, Verstappen identified Mercedes as the most significant threat to Red Bull’s chances in the 2023 season.

When asked about the potential of another title battle between Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, Wolff mentioned that they have received positive feedback from other teams regarding their competitiveness, indicating that Mercedes is expected to be a strong contender.

He added that they still need to demonstrate through their actions that they have made the right decisions and he hopes for a competitive race at the front of the grid, not just between the top three teams, but with the possibility of other teams joining in as well.

Wolff further stated that having more teams compete at the front of the grid would be beneficial for the sport of Formula 1 and would make the races more exciting and enjoyable for everyone involved.

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