Mercedes F1 team principal Toto Wolff has emphasised his displeasure for any ‘gimmicks’ which might serve to dilute the performance of any best-performing team, saying the series should continue operating as a meritocracy.

Though Mercedes has ultimately been in favour of the impending cost cap which will be introduced from 2021, it has vetoed other proposals that would have the effect of potentially shaking up the order, most notably reverse grid races.

Branding it as a ‘gimmick’, the idea would have been to use the second of the double-header races at the Red Bull Ring and Silverstone to swap the grid around. As the favourites coming into the 2020 season, Mercedes ultimately voted against the proposal arguing the sport needs to remain a meritocracy – the best driver in the best machine wins.

Indeed, while other motorsport series’ dabble in balancing the performance across the grid – such as reverse grid formats and success ballast – Wolff believes the incoming changes of a cost cap provide enough of the incremental balance to ensure competition is close but allows the best to emerge on top.

"I am a fan of the meritocracy of F1. Best man and best machine wins and this is how it always was. No gimmicky stuff like in some other sports where the show people have added components that have diluted the sport. I hate any kind of balance of performance. It becomes a political game and a political World Championship. That has no place in F1.

“What has been introduced is a possibility for the lower ranked teams to slowly creep back in terms of development scope to where the leading teams are. It's tiny percentages every year, so it is not going to be a big difference from one year to the other.

“But it is going to balance the field out after a few years. I believe if you are not good enough to win anymore then you have equal opportunity. You are second or third you have more scope than the World Champion. I think it was done as a fine adjustment not with a baseball bat."

 

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