Mercedes boss slams 2018 F1 auto - would fix it 'with a chainsaw'

23 February, 2018, 02:00 | Author: Felix Jensen
  • Mercedes car launch: World champions 'keeping some diva traits' in 2018 car

"I'm not impressed with the whole (halo) thing", Wolff told reporters at a chilly Silverstone circuit after Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas had given the silver W09 its track debut.

Four-time world champion Lewis Hamilton was less stinging in his criticism, but warned the extra weight, created to be able to resist the weight of a double-decker bus, could lead to less exciting racing.

He hoped also that Mercedes had "ironed out some of the creases" from previous year with a narrower and more tightly packaged auto, whose official F1 W09 EQ Power+ name is already quite a mouthful. The wheelbase was something that brought us advantage over the season, so we are retaining it as a strength for this year. "I'm aiming for a better season than past year and the team hopes to see me performing better".

There will still be a bit of a diva in the new auto because no one has ever produced a vehicle that doesn't have foibles.

"But sometimes she was a bit hard to understand and this is the area where we worked the most, trying to understand and preserve what we have in terms of speed in the auto and equally find more driveability".

Mercedes' 2018 model certainly has a lot to live up to.

The 33-year-old hopes to sign his new contract extension that will see him remain with the four-time consecutive constructor champions until the end of the 2020 season, with his current deal due to expire at the end of the year.

And Wolff believes F1 2018 is poised to deliver at least a three-team battle for wins. Hopefully we'll have something done before the beginning of the season, before the start of the first race. We hope we have kept the good character traits of the diva.

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"Ferrari is very strong, Red Bull is very strong. I'm very, very close to my engineers, so I'm very much on top of that", he insisted. I wouldn't write anybody off.

He told journalists: "If you would have asked us the question this time past year we would have said Red Bull and it was Ferrari".

"It's very risky before the season has started to reduce the number of potential competitors".

As Owen said: "A lot of those things get talked about as being defining factors, but they are coupled to a lot of other decisions you make about the vehicle".

No one has really been able to touch Mercedes in recent seasons. Get Sky Sports F1.

How badly it affects performances will finally come to light when pre-season testing begins on Monday, with the season getting underway on the weekend of 23-25 March at the Australian Grand Prix.

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