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Ferrari power unit battle led to health issues inside Mercedes - Wolff

Ferrari power unit battle led to health issues inside Mercedes - Wolff

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Ferrari power unit battle led to health issues inside Mercedes - Wolff

Ferrari power unit battle led to health issues inside Mercedes - Wolff

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has claimed members of his team suffered health issues last season in a bid to catch Ferrari in the power unit war.

Over the summer last year Ferrari usurped Mercedes with regard to the performance from the PU, embarking on a run of five consecutive pole positions from the Belgian Grand Prix, and scoring three successive wins at Spa, Monza and in Singapore.

It was only when a technical directive was issued at the United States Grand Prix relating to fuel flow, and a subsequent one in Brazil regarding oil-burning did the balance of power again switch.

Ferrari's decline since then has been marked, leading to Red Bull team principal Christian Horner claiming to have been left with a sour taste in his mouth over the furore, and suggesting the Scuderia's improvement last year cost his team victories.

Wolff has gone a step further by suggesting that Mercedes personnel were affected by the team's push to try to overhaul Ferrari.

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Reflecting on Horner's remark and his feelings on last year's power unit struggle now, Wolff said: "Ferrari is an iconic brand and [it has] fantastic people that build these cars.

"It’s difficult to say because I don’t want to put any more oil into this. But we were really stretched so much last year and the year before that we suffered.

"We lost some people in terms of being at the end of their health. This is why I would probably follow Christian’s comment."

When it comes to the latest technical directive regarding the abolition of the so-called power unit 'party mode', Wolff is far more relaxed.

From this weekend's Italian Grand Prix, teams will no longer be allowed to turn up their engine in qualifying, and instead will be required to run the same level of power across Saturday and Sunday.

The suggestion is Mercedes will be the team most affected given its apparent reliance on power increases in qualifying.

Wolff, though, is unconcerned by the latest change as he said: "First of all, the mindset that we have is to take the things you say as a compliment but not really believe them.

"If you would follow our debriefings you would think we were talking about a team that had a terrible weekend, and I think this is very much the mindset within the team.

"And then of course ‘team’ means people. The group of people that have come together on this journey in Brixworth, in Brackley, and all the support we have in Stuttgart.

"Living to our values, really having a no-blame culture, no politics, no internal politics, and the trust that has been built up over the years.

"If you take Formula 1 not too seriously, but you remember it’s a sport, it’s not real politics, then you can go to a race with a certain easiness without being complacent."

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Mon 30 Nov

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