Wolff: Ferrari's extra wind tunnel time gives it a 0.2sec advantage


Toto Wolff has drawn attention to the advantage Ferrari could gain form having more wind tunnel time in 2021

Toto Wolff Mercedes launch 2022

Wolff has highlighted the advantage Ferrari could glean this year


Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the extra wind tunnel time afforded to the Ferrari team after finishing sixth in the 2020 Formula 1 constructors’ championship could give it as much as a “two-tenths” of a second gain in lap time over rivals who finished higher up that year.

In a bid to level the playing field, F1 introduced a sliding scale on wind tunnel usage for 2021, meaning that the team which finished last in 2020 (Williams), were allowed the most number of runs, while the title–winners that season (Mercedes) had the least.

“The ability of having more wind tunnel time is of course something you need to you need to bear in mind,” said the Mercedes team boss when questioned about Ferrari’s intriguing position this season – namely being a very well-funded team with more development time than its equivalent outfits.

“The advantage of finishing sixth versus first over the course of the season is a couple of tenths [of a second].

Related article

“And of course you need to catch up, but we are part of these regulations. I think it’s good to create competition and so we shall see where everyone is.”

Wolff suggested that no competitor can be ruled out given the new rules around aerodynamic development, along with the cost cap and clean sheet that each team started with following the raft of regulation changes brought in this year.

“Personally, I’m not discounting any teams,” he said. “Everyone could be high up in the standings at the beginning of the season, because we’ve seen it in 2009 with a double diffuser. If a team has innovated and discovered opportunities that could be game changers, [then] anyone can be ahead at the beginning [of the season].”

Wolff was further questioned Ferrari’s chances this year, giving his view on where he wants to see the Scuderia in the pecking order.

“As a fan I love Ferrari,” he said. “They they are the greatest name in Formula 1, and it cannot be that Ferrari is not competing for race victories and titles. Winning championships is something different, many things have to come together to achieve that, but I think for all us fans of the sport Ferrari needs to be in the mix and we’ve missed them in the last few years.

“The passion of everyone at Ferrari and also the Tifosi in Italy, it’s important to see that the car is competitive. So I hope there will be a few of us who are able to win races and [are] fighting hard on track.