Wolff on qualifying engine mode ban: "I think it will actually help us in the race"
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has warned the incoming ban on engine qualifying modes could make Mercedes even stronger on Sundays.
Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Wolff all made known their belief that the FIA ban on qualifying modes was a direct attempt to close the gap between Mercedes and the chasing pack.
However, Wolff feels the true impact of the ban could actually be the complete reverse.
The Austrian explained: “We don’t lack in performance on Saturdays. We’ve had, up until now, quite a margin, but we struggled in some of the races where we are quite limited in powerful engine modes.
“If Formula 1 were to ban in season, certain power unit modes, then I think it will actually help us in the race, because if you can avoid damaging your power unit in those few qualifying laps that you have available in Q3 and then the odd lap in the race, the damage metric goes down dramatically.
“So five laps of qualifying mode not being used, gives us 25 laps of more performance in the race, and that is something that we believe will give us more performance and it must take into effect, even if it may hurt us more in qualifying which I’m not sure and it’s a couple of tenths, then it will hurt all the others in the same way.
“But for us, we are always very marginal on what we can extract from the power unit and if we were to be limited in qualifying modes then we will be strong in the race.”
During the Spanish Grand Prix weekend, Hamilton said of the incoming ban: “It’s not a surprise. They’re always trying to slow us down but it doesn’t really change a huge amount for us so it’s not a problem.”
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