Formula 1 at war: All against Wolff and Co.

Toto Wolff, Credit: S. Etherington/Mercedes
Toto Wolff, Credit: S. Etherington/Mercedes

The tone is getting rougher in Formula 1. Now Mercedes is also in sight of the copy opponents

There’s a war going on in Formula One. And now Mercedes is in the middle of it. The reason: The Gaga verdict on the pink Mercedes copy called Racing Point. Ferrari, McLaren, Renault and Williams are horrified that the design process of the Racing Point RP20 was classified as illegal, but the car is allowed to continue driving without any changes.

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After all: The FIA confirmed that data and parts have been moved back and forth between Mercedes and Racing Point.

This makes McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl happy: “The important thing is that the fairy tale has finally been cleared up, that someone had a vision, bought a big camera and used the photos to build a car with which he can fight for the podium”, he says in plain language at Sky.

Explosive: The Bavarian not only accuses the Racing Point managers around Otmar Szafnauer of lying, but indirectly also Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.

The Racing Point RP20 is allowed to continue driving without any changes. Credit: Racing Point

Because the Viennese still insists on the camera version. “If you plug this camera into a computer, you can derive all shapes from it,” he explains at Sky. “The technology exists. And there is nothing that forbids it. Everyone has their own spy photographers positioned on the roof of the building across the street to photograph every little detail of the other cars.”

But Wolff’s cover-up tactics don’t go down well with the competition. The tone becomes rougher. McLaren boss Zak Brown, for example, describes the explanation as “bullshit” and warns: “Now we have to question this car as a whole.”

All against Wolff and Co.

Fact is: Mercedes is in the middle of the discussions, accusations and arguments about the pink copy of last year’s Silver Arrow continues to pour oil on the fire. Wolff is annoyed about the opponents of the Mercedes phalanx: “I think they should have shown more humility and acknowledged that someone did a good job there.”

With Sky, the Viennese even makes a verbal kick below the belt. A “small group” of rebels is forming, “who want to get after Racing Point,” he reveals, teasing: “Small in every way.”

But that’s not all. The Mercedes team boss also pulls Haas into his own #Copygate: “We had a case with Haas in 2015. Haas got the whole car from Ferrari back then. There wasn’t a single part they designed themselves. It was all made by Ferrari. They used a loophole because they weren’t a registered competitor. And they put a car on the track that was very competitive because it was a Ferrari copy.”

That’s not true, Haas team boss G√ľnther Steiner counters by calling Wolff’s accusation “total bullshit”. Steiner: “We only ever used what we could legally buy. On the one hand, to give the brake airs to someone and then say that someone else used the whole car is a bit extreme. I think that’s where a guilty conscience speaks. I feel like Toto’s got his back against the wall. And now he’s trying to distract with other things.”

One thing is certain: The mood in the paddock has been better. And the rage of the legally driving participants is no longer directed only against Racing Point, but now also against Mercedes.

Bianca Garloff and Ralf Bach

Translated with (free version)

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