Rule changes are a chance for all F1 teams, says Wolff

The Borneo Post - - SPORT -

ST PETERS­BURG, Rus­sia: Rule changes could give ev­ery For­mula One team a chance to pull off a sur­prise next sea­son, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said on Fri­day.

Speak­ing ahead of the gov­ern­ing FIA’s awards cer­e­mony in Rus­sia, the Aus­trian told re­porters he felt “ev­ery­thing is pos­si­ble”.

“It is al­most like 2009 where Brawn iden­ti­fied the dou­ble dif­fuser. I think there could be teams that have found loop­holes, that oth­ers didn’t spot, that could make the dif­fer­ence,” he said.

“So we are tak­ing ev­ery­body se­ri­ously. Whether it is Fer­rari fin­ish­ing se­cond this year, or Wil­liams fin­ish­ing 10th. All of them could come with a car that can out­per­form us.”

The rules are be­ing tweaked for 2019, with aero­dy­namic changes aimed at mak­ing it eas­ier for drivers to fol­low cars and bat­tle on track, ahead of a more sub­stan­tial over­haul planned for 2021. Mercedes have won ev­ery cham­pi­onship in the V6 turbo hy­brid era that started in 2014, with Fer­rari and Red Bull the only other teams to win races.

For­mer cham­pi­ons Wil­liams scored just seven points from 21 races this sea­son, de­spite us­ing Mercedes engines, and fin­ished last over­all. The team have not won a race since 2012, with their most re­cent ti­tle in 1997.

Next sea­son they will have Mercedes-backed Bri­tish rookie Ge­orge Rus­sell, the For­mula Two cham­pion, as one of their drivers along with Poland’s Robert Ku­bica.

Brawn, the team that was Honda and is now Mercedes, stunned For­mula One in 2009 when they pro­duced a win­ning car only months af­ter be­ing threat­ened with clo­sure fol­low­ing the Ja­panese man­u­fac­turer’s with­drawal. — Reuters

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