Mercedes will try to reduce the size of their wings for this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, in order to close the performance gap with Red Bull and early title leaders Ferrari according to Toto Wolff.
Mercedes was there to pick up the pieces after Red Bull’s double retirement at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, finishing third and fourth behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.
All things considered, it was a fantastic finish for the Silver Arrows, but it’s evident that they’re currently the third-fastest team in the world.
The Brackley-based outfit will be searching for methods to close the gap on the Scuderia and the Bulls, and Wolff believes that removing a wing would help, as it will reduce drag when the car is racing at high speeds.
In a post-Bahrain interview, Wolff stated Mercedes’ changes bluntly: “I think we were probably over-winged.”
“We had too much drag and that’s just because we are lacking parts at the moment and hopefully we can remedy that.”
“It’s half or a little bit more maybe of the top-speed advantage, but we need to really leave no stone unturned on the power unit side.”
“It’s easier to shed drag off the car because you simply take a chainsaw and cut the rear wing to bits, and so that’s what we will do for Jeddah.”
The concept of an F1 team chopping down a high-tech vehicle like an F1 car with a chainsaw is hilarious, but it accurately describes what Mercedes is contemplating.
They’ll shrink their wings for Jeddah, decreasing drag and allowing for a higher top speed at the expense of some stability. It’s a decision worth making if it shrinks the gap between Ferrari and Red Bull.