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Mercedes see threats from Honda and aero changes in 2019

Written by  Oct 13, 2018

An ever-improving Honda engine and the prospect of new aerodynamic design rules in 2019 has Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff concerned.

The German manufacturer looks on course to maintain their run of double championship success for a fifth straight year but has for the first time seen themselves overtaken in the performance ranking by Ferrari, at least for a short time.

Red Bull have also continued to threaten on downforce-dependent circuits but next year they will take on Honda engines rather than Renault and the gains made this season have caught the Austrian's attention.

“We have seen there is no more pattern anymore — there is not one team that dominates one kind of circuit where it performs well,” said Wolff.

“It has changed, and the Honda engine certainly looks very powerful now and Red Bull is a good group of racers."

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It is a simplification of aerodynamics both to the wings and bargeboards that has the Mercedes chief most concerned, however.

"I think that the biggest impact will be that we have completely new aerodynamic regulations that will change everything up and down," he claimed.

“Somebody might find a loophole or an innovation or understand how these cars work early than others, so I think there is a big, big variable in those new regulations next year.

“We could even have teams being right up there that are not on the radar today.”

While talk of an overhaul in the pecking order with the top three losing their dominance is unlikely, it will be interesting to see how the 10 teams shape up next season.

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