Mercedes is in the midst of a "painful process" to start moving forward, explains Toto Wolff to Autosport. According to the German racing team's boss, this has to do with the restrictions imposed on teams by the budget cap. Large-scale changes are thus challenging to implement.
Wolff explains that Mercedes can no longer use infinite resources to improve the car. A complex cost analysis is required to determine if the expenses associated with a potential update are really worth it, considering how much time savings can be gained. "The budget cap imposes so many limitations," explains the Austrian, who calls it a "painful process".
The Mercedes team boss provides an example. "In the past, we didn't even know how much a front suspension costs and today we have to take into account the purchase price of the aluminum and then consider how much the processing costs, how much we need to write off for the aluminum we don't need, figure out the price of every bolt that goes into the suspension, and then we still have to make cuts and adjustments."
Mercedes adopts different method due to F1 budget cap
According to Wolff, this process is so complicated that Mercedes now works with cost analysts to determine whether certain expenses are worth it. "That process is so difficult and painful. People who should only be creative and have carte blanche cannot do something because someone tells them whether or not it is feasible within the budget cap. And that is why it is so important that everyone adheres to the cost cap. If you go overboard, every 10,000 (euro, red.) is important."
Despite everything, Wolff remains in favor of the budget cap. "It was necessary for Formula 1. We are more limited than before, otherwise we would have brought a completely new chassis. So what we really need to carefully decide is what we want to improve. We are bringing a new front suspension to Imola - and the aero upgrade that goes with it. But if we were free to do as we please, we would probably bring twice as many updates."
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