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Mercedes boss surprised by level of Red Bull anger at 2019 changes

Written by  May 21, 2018

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff claims Red Bull are furious that a range of aerodynamic changes have been agreed in an attempt to improve overtaking from 2019.

At the end of last month, just four teams (Mercedes, Williams, Force India and Sauber) approved the measures which will see a simpler and wider front wing along with a deeper rear wing introduced as part of a first step towards a wider overhaul of the design rules in 2021 with the aim of promoting closer racing.

During the Spanish GP weekend, Red Bull boss Christian Horner bemoaned the decision describing it as "rushed" before advisor Helmut Marko suggested Mercedes' motive was to "hurt us".

“Sometimes this sport has the ability to shoot itself in the foot,” Horner continued to Sky Sports. “The work that has been done for 2021 is all good stuff the problem is a snapshot of that has been taken and hasn’t been fully analysed and there are no proven conclusions from it.

“It has then been rushed into a set of regulations that completely conflict with existing regulations so they are now scrapping around trying to sort that out this weekend. It completely changes the philosophy of the car because the front wing will be wider and different."

Those comments drew a response from Wolff, who later told the same broadcaster: “I haven’t seen them that livid, it seems to be upsetting them massively, I don’t know why. For us it was a 50-50 decision. We wanted to be supportive of the work that’s been done and the direction looks correct.”

Ferrari also voted against the decision with Sebastian Vettel calling the move "comical" as once again F1 proves itself incapable of taking a direction and sticking with it, but FIA president Jean Todt welcomed what was the surprise approval of the proposals.

“We hear all the time from the drivers that the cars can’t get close to each other,” the Frenchman was quoted by Racer.

“I read the press conference transcripts – [Lewis] Hamilton, Vettel, [Kimi] Raikkonen, they all complained and they’re [racing] in the front. Can you imagine what it’s like at the back? And you all complain – I read what you write.

“I feel that if we understand that something is wrong we should try to find a solution. We all say we want to have a better sport, a better show, so let’s do something.

“So we are trying to make the sport better. We try, using the proper governance – which as you know is not the easiest thing in Formula 1 – to make a proposal. So that’s why we made this proposal and by a miracle, it was accepted.”

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