Toto Wolff has warned Mercedes have ‘not yet taken’ a more conventional development path which could include coming up with a new design. However, he stressed the team needed to take time to decide as it would cost them dearly.
He stressed changing the development focus of the car could potentially go against the cost cap rules which are set at $140million.
He said: “We very much believe that the science that we’re putting in at the moment will help us to, in effect, run the car lower, where we believe we have all the aerodynamic goodness. We haven’t been able to unlock that because of the [porpoising] of the car.
“If we are able to finally get on top of that, that means there’s quite some lap time we can find. If not, we need to have another idea.
“If we don’t get on top of [the porpoising], then there is a more conventional development path that we have not yet taken. I want to give us the time to really properly take such a decision. We haven’t changed the concept [yet]. If you were to do something else, that could potentially go against your cost cap.”
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Wolff addressed cost cap concerns ahead of the new seasons, warning the new rules were ‘extremely painful’. He said it had been ‘very difficult’ to structure the organisation to ensure it met the new target and suggested it would have an impact on car development,
He added: “On the other side, you have to decide very carefully where you invest your dollars in R&D. In the past, it was a little bit easier because you could follow various avenues chasing performance.
“Today you have to decide which one has the highest potential and then embark on it so it’s a totally different way of operating for the big teams.”