Formula 1 fans hoping for a more competitive season next year might be interested to learn that this year’s winner in both Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ championships have suffered a small setback regarding their 2019 engine.
According to team boss Toto Wolff, Mercedes was forced to set itself even more ambitious development targets in order to keep up with rivals over the winter, targets that have so far not been met, as reported by Autosport.
“These rules have been changed, normally the downforce should be less but the rumors you hear from the paddock is that people have been able to recuperate lots of that,” said Wolff during a recent conference for team sponsor Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
“And of course the engine is a very important part, and adding more horsepower to the engine. So we are setting ourselves really ambitious targets. We have actually increased the targets six weeks ago because we heard some rumors that others were doing well, so we increased the final point for the first race where we need to be in absolute lap time. We are still on the slope.”
The Mercedes F1 exec went on to say that while his team has had some good weeks in the wind tunnel, they’ve also had “a little bit of a setback on the engine side where we believed the new concept would deliver a little bit more.”
Having said that, Wolff remains optimistic about his team’s 2019 campaign, although if Mercedes do arrive in Melbourne without having the most potent powertrain on the grid, it could once again open up the field and allow for more competitive racing against the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull.