Mercedes boss Toto Wolff warns major Formula 1 rule changes for 2021 would risk the opposite result of its goal to provide close racing and shake-up the sport.

Following the technical regulation tweaks introduced for 2019 aimed to provide closer racing, with simplified front and rear wings the key feature, the Mercedes team principal points to his team dominating the start of this season by winning every single race so far – a feat continued last weekend at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Wolff duly dismissed the prospect of the 2019 rule changes providing closer racing which has led to him urging for overall F1 regulation stability to allow teams to reach closer levels of performance through developments.

“When you look at the 2019 regulations and the 2018 regulations, teams at the front have increased the gaps they had, so we are back to square one,” Wolff said. “I think we are making that mistake over and over again, but it is very difficult from our position to be credible or to be heard.

“They believe we want to maintain rules as they are to maintain our advantage, whilst the opposite is actually the case. Leave it alone and performance will converge.”

Consequently, Wolff has warned any major F1 rule changes for 2021 would have the opposite outcome to what is desired and feels the current V6 hybrid power unit rules provide evidence for this belief.

“The default reaction in the past, when a team or three big teams are running away, is that we change the regulations,” he said. “Because you believe that by changing the regulations others may catch up.

“I think that exactly the opposite is the case, if you leave regulations alone, which is counter-intuitive, eventually performance converges.

“We’ve seen that in the power unit regulations for a while and I think that if we leave the chassis regulations alone, eventually more teams will be closer together. But as in the past, teams lobby for change because they believe that rolling the dice can be an advantage for them.”

At last weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix just the top five drivers finished the race on the lead lap, while in the 2018 race six drivers remained on the lead lap at the end of the race – albeit with results from last year’s race taken two laps before the scheduled finish due to a mistake in showing the chequered flag early.

Within the potential 2021 rules shake-up simplified aerodynamic regulations are expected with the target of allowing cars to race closer and not lose as much performance while following in the dirty air of other cars.



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