So the season gets underway and we see a resurgent Red Bull-Honda giving the previously all-conquering Mercedes a very hard time. Then we hear from both Merc’s Toto Wolff and Aston Martin’s Otmar Szafnauer that the 2021 floor regulations have had a greater impact on their low-rake cars than the competition’s high-rake.
“It’s no secret that what the changes have… of course they’ve been done to peg us back,” said Wolff. “Just like the changes in engine modes at Monza last year, but they didn’t have the effect some expected.”
Which gets a guy thinking back to last year and the evolution of this regulation tweak and what was going on simultaneously in the murky background where how well you play the political game is a hidden dimension of the competition. Where F1 politics and technical matters meet, things can get pretty ruthless. So here’s a working theory.