Having won 12 out of 12 championships in the last six years (six drivers’, six constructors’) Mercedes has enstablished itself as the unstoppable force in the turbo-hybrid era. Even when Ferrari tried to challenge the Silver Arrows back in 2017 and 2018, the title contention was closed with many races to go.
Despite the right of being confident, Toto Wolff –as usual- rathers to keep a low profile and not underestimate the potential threat coming for their closest rivals: without any regulation change planned for next year, Red Bull and Ferrari have a huge chance of closing up the performance gap and challenge for the championships, according to the Austrian.
“We have always defended the standpoint that by [leaving] the regulations alone, performance convergence would happen – at least there’s a high probability that convergence happens rather than throwing the dice and introducing something new, and I think we have seen that” Wolff explained. “It’s fair to say that there are three teams capable of winning races today and probably winning championships if things are being put together.”
But danger could come from even further behind on the grid: McLaren has just brought home its best season since 2012, with a fourth place finish in the constructors’ championship, 145 points and an incredible podium conquered in Brazil.
Wolff is worried the english team could challenge for podiums next year and, in doing so, steal big vital points from Mercedes in the title run.
“McLaren have massively caught up, probably the steepest performance slope of all teams and will be there or thereabouts, in my opinion.”
With such an hypothetically well-balanced 2020 season, Mercedes’ boss is expecting no clear dominance from anyone: “I don’t think we are going to see the kind of 10 race wins or 12 race wins per team for next year any more – but obviously we will be trying everything to optimise our weaknesses and continue to perform well. So, yeah, I see this very much as being a much tougher season.”
Back to Work 💪 Picking up where we left off in 2019! pic.twitter.com/TGXgv5xXOS— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) January 2, 2020