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Mercedes budget cap hindrance applauded

Mercedes budget cap hindrance applauded

F1 News

Mercedes budget cap hindrance applauded

Mercedes budget cap hindrance applauded

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer has applauded the fact Mercedes is unable to spend its way out of trouble in F1's new regulatory era.

The reigning eight-time constructors' champions has found itself on the backfoot over the first three grands prix following the introduction of sweeping new aero rules.

With the W13s of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell badly affected by porpoising, a by-product of the ground-effect phenomenon of the new cars, Mercedes has been off the pace and already trails leaders Ferrari by 39 points.

Unlike in previous years, though, Mercedes is stymied by the fact it only has finite financial resources to find a solution, with F1 in the second year of budget cap restrictions that for this season amount to $140million.

Asked whether it was encouraging Mercedes had dropped the ball this season, Szafnauer replied: "Well, I think the budget cap definitely helps.

"In the past, they would have had money to throw at it and the resources to throw at it.

"So now, maybe one of the limiting factors for them to be able to throw their resource of money at it is the budget cap.

"That helps too, and rightfully so. It is the same for everybody so let's not change it."

New F1 era sparking interest

Going into this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola, Ferrari has taken an early stranglehold on both the drivers' and constructors' championships.

Charles Leclerc, notably, has scored two victories and finished runner-up in the three races so far, as well as claiming the fastest lap in each event.

Szafnauer is delighted with what F1 has conjured to date with its new aerodynamic formula.

"From what I can see, and talking to friends of mine who are fans, it seems like a high interest," added Szafnauer.

"It has been a mixture now. We have had two different teams winning in a few races so that is good, not the same team winning every time.

"Mercedes haven't won and they are second in the championship. I think it is okay.

"In the midfield, anybody can be the best. We are planning to be and we will work hard to make sure that we are."

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