Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff believes Red Bull could still be extremely strong in the 2023 F1 season despite getting the least amount of time for wind tunnel tests. Since the Austrian team won the constructor’s championship in 2022, their wind tunnel test time was lower than the rest of the grid. Red Bull’s testing time was further reduced when the FIA penalized them for breaching the cost cap in the 2021 F1 season.
Despite all this, Wolff does not rule out Red Bull, as he knows how strong they can be. In a press conference, he surprisingly praised his team’s rivals for making such a strong car. He further explained how the lack of wind tunnel time will affect them, but they will still be extremely dangerous since they already have a blueprint for a brilliant car from last year. The Mercedes team principal said:
“I think they’ve done a very good job last year getting a car out there that is half a second quicker than anyone else. The lack of wind tunnel time is certainly not great for them. An advantage for us this season. But if you have an efficient machine you can compensate for that, or large parts of it. Long-term good for us. But we have been in the situation, without the penalty, in the years before.”
🗣️ | Toto Wolff on RBR’s penalty being an advantage, however not big one:
“If you have an efficient machine you can compensate for that, or large parts of it. Long-term good for us. But we have been in the situation, without the penalty, in the years before.” pic.twitter.com/zUamD2EYuk
— RBR News 🇳🇱🇲🇽 (@redbulletin) February 17, 2023
Toto Wolff explained how Mercedes themselves managed to dominate the sport for so many years despite finishing first and getting the least amount of time in the wind tunnel. Hence, he believes that the time crunch will not affect Red Bull if they are efficient enough in their tests. He added:
“We have won and had less wind tunnel time than anyone else in the last two seasons. It will bite them a bit, but if they are efficient as an organisation which they have already demonstrated, it’s not going to be big.”
Mercedes team boss shares his views on the return of black livery for the 2023 F1 season
Mercedes impressed the entire F1 fanbase by reintroducing black livery for their 2023 challenger. During their car launch event, Toto Wolff openly admitted how their 2022 car was slightly overweight, which was partially the reason why they brought back the black livery to reduce weight by not painting over the black carbon fiber. He said:
“We were overweight last year, and this year we have tried to figure out where we can squeeze out every single gram. So now history repeats itself. You will see that the car has some raw carbon bits along with some that are painted matte black.”
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) February 16, 2023
The Mercedes team boss further explained how it will also promote and support diversity and equality causes, saying:
“Of course when we changed the livery in 2020, the main driving factor was to support the diversity and equality causes, which are always close to our heart. The colour black became part of our DNA at that point, so we are pleased to return to it.”
Mercedes’ black livery is extremely famous amongst fans and even amongst the team since their 2021 black livery car was one of the fastest and most powerful F1 cars.