Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says Formula 1’s looming regulation shake-up for 2021 has created a “two-year championship” beginning with the 2020 season.

F1 will introduce a host of new sporting, technical and financial regulations for 2021, meaning teams will have to split resources to developing two cars in parallel, one for '20 and a totally revised design for '21.

Wolff explained how balancing development throughout 2020 will be crucial and added that falling behind with their 2021 car could result in losing up to “half a second” in laptime.

“This year’s championship is a two-year championship,” Wolff explained.

“It’s not only about 2020 under the current regulations, but there is such a massive regulatory change for 2021 that balancing your allocation of resource will be crucial.

“And how much of your resource you are switching into the 2021 car, because obviously the learning and development slope is much steeper at the beginning.

“So, if you get it wrong and you are months behind you might be half a second behind.

“This is a challenge that we have embraced in the past through two regulatory changes and we love that one.”

Mercedes heads into 2020 looking to maintain its dominant streak during the V6 hybrid era, having swept to every title on offer since the start of 2014.

Another constructors’ title crown this year would see Mercedes surpass the record it currently shares with Ferrari of winning six consecutive championships, while Lewis Hamilton is bidding to equal Michael Schumacher’s all-time feat of seven drivers’ world titles.

“Every year we try to set the right objectives, objectives that are being understood throughout the organisation,” Wolff said.

“I think it’s so important to wake up with a purpose and I don’t see a lack of motivation or purpose within the organisation.

“The pain of losing is so much more intense and lasts so much longer than the joy of winning, and this is in a way what drives us strongly. The sheer thought of losing makes you forget about all of your previous achievements.

“Last year’s record doesn’t buy us any credit for the 2020 championship, so all lap times and all points go to zero and we are yet again in front of another challenge.

“In a way, there was a reason why six was a world record, because it’s bloody difficult, and we want to push that needle further.

“We have a great group of people that has just found partners that share the same values and who will be pushing us also to be successful.”

 

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