Angry Wolff fears "beginning of the end" for F1 over 'humiliating' PU convergence system
Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has predicted "the beginning of the end" of Formula 1 if an 'insulting' and 'humiliating' power unit convergence system is introduced from 2022.
At present Red Bull is hoping to take on Honda's power units when the Japanese manufacturer exits the sport at the end of next season, but to do so has called for a freeze on development from 2022.
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto was initially against such a freeze, but has now come out in favour, although like Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner has suggested a convergence mechanism be implemented.
Wolff has previously slated balance-of-performance suggestions and sees no difference with the latest proposal from Binotto and Horner regarding a convergence system.
"I think I've said before this would be the beginning of the end [of F1]," Wolff said.
"The power unit is not only measured by the sheer max power, but it is subject to driveability, to weight, to cooling, and introducing a simple formula that fits all isn't possible. It's not something that Mercedes would endorse."
Suggested to Wolff about the possible reintroduction of a token system, as was previously in place when the current 1.6-litre V6 turbo-hybrid systems debuted in 2014 that prevented rival manufacturers from progressing, the Austrian denounced the idea.
"If you recall we had a token system in the past when the regulations came up, and because some of our colleagues wished the tokens to be removed in order to catch up, we agreed to a removal of the tokens," said Wolff.
"Now some of our colleagues come back with a system of convergence, which honestly is a bit of an insult.
"When you look at the last few years, and the development of performances in the engine, Ferrari was clearly the most powerful engine in 2018, and by far the best in 2019.
"We developed our engine, we continued to push the boundaries, and we brought something to the track in 2020 that we were hoping would catch up.
"That's why I cannot comprehend that any car manufacturer that trusts in its abilities to develop a power unit and a chassis would want some kind of mechanism that would balance out the power units.
"I don't think anybody would accept such a humiliation in public."
Pointing to the issues once faced in DTM, Wolff fears there would be manipulation behind the scenes.
"I've seen it in DTM where weights were introduced based on your performances, and the only thing we heard after qualifying was 'Well, I would have qualified on pole if I hadn't had five kilograms in the car', and that was the whole narrative of the DTM seasons," recalled Wolff.
"Formula 1 must stay very, very far away from that, or we end up in GTs where you design power units for the sole topic of manipulating the system."
Does anyone think Mercedes' rivals would want such a system if they had a superior engine?
Definitely not. I guess from 2021 we will have slower cars and lap records set to stay
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