Mercedes is “onboard” with the FIA’s decision to abandon plans to introduce standardised gearboxes in Formula 1, according to Toto Wolff.
Ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, the FIA confirmed it had backtracked on the proposed move, which aligns with the planned revision of the F1 technical regulations from post-2020, which is set to see a number of parts standardised in a bid to control costs and help create fairer competition among teams.
Wolff insisted Mercedes is “open-minded” about saving money on non-performance components but felt the complexities of the gearbox tender would have only increased both costs and reliability concerns.
“I think in non-performance parts, where we can really save a lot of money, we should aim for that,” Wolff said.
“If there is no saving, just complexity, and risk of reliability and failure, then we shouldn’t be following those rules. So from that principle, I am onboard.
“You have to question whether somebody else is in-between an independent supplier, that company would need to make a margin, produce a product cheaper than us with the same specifications and that sounds a little bit of tricky.
“From a Mercedes standpoint we are open-minded to reduce costs and if there is a possibility for certain non-performance parts, we are for it.”
New McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl believes the scrapped plans will have little impact on his team, which currently produces its own gearboxes.
“We’re doing our own gearbox at the moment, so it’s not a big change for us if the gearbox stays on,” Seidl said.
“I think with the budget cap coming, in the end we have somehow available all the same amount of resources, and it’s simply about who is doing the best job within the resources that are available.
“I think that is a challenge for them, what the outcome is in terms of the regulations. I think it’s good if the budget cap comes, because it will definitely help to have a more level playing field between all of us.
“I see it quite pragmatic in terms of regulations. Formula 1 together with the FIA, they are in charge. Formula 1 is running Formula 1, with all these experienced people they have like Ross to make sure we get the right regulations in place for 2021.
“I think it’s good they’re consulted all of us different teams in terms of giving feedback, and asking how we see things. But it’s also clear we have a different agenda. In the end they have to make the call on what the regulations look like.
“I’m quite confident whenever the regulations will be announced, it will be good for us, for the sport, for the commercial side as well, and then it’s down to us to make the best job out of it.”
McLaren technical director James Key added: “I think what the FIA are trying to do is a good thing. Ultimately it’s about trying to remove some of the components that we build ourselves and don’t make much difference performance-wise, but it’s a lot of money.
“What they’ve been proposing is very sensible, but clearly we have to rely on them and trust their judgement and the tender process as well is very much in their ballpark.
“I think we’ll just accept the regulations as they are, and assume that good reasons were given for adopting some ideas.”