Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has confirmed that the overall costs incurred by the damage to Valtteri Bottas’ Formula 1 car following his collision with George Russell at Imola could impact Mercedes’ upgrades and developments.
“It’s quite a big shunt,” Wolff said. “Our car is almost a write-off in a cost-cap environment that is certainly not what we needed, and probably it’s going to limit upgrades that we’re able to do.
“And simply the fact that we ended there by losing it in the wet, because there was no contact, losing it on the wet, and making both cars crash out is not what I expect to see”.
“We are very stretched on cost cap, and what we always feared is a total write-off of a car. This one is not going to be a total write-off, but almost, and that is not something we really wanted.”, Wolff added further.
As Bottas’ car crashed into Russell’s Williams while fighting for the ninth spot at Imola, the race got stopped due to a Red flag. Even though the drivers blamed each other for the collision initially, Russell confessed his mistake later on.
Given this much-talked-about incident at Imola, Wolff insisted that the Williams driver has “lots to learn”. Yet, a bigger concern for Mercedes at this point is the effect this crash is going to bring over to their developmental plan for 2021, which also includes a smooth transformation to 2022.
Besides, cost issues, Team Mercedes needs to look forward to the uphill battle against Red Bull who is on cloud nine after Imola’s victory. Discussing the cost cap, Teams are only allowed to spend $145 million over the 2021 season.
Well, this further means that all the F1 teams have to manage with any unforeseen or unanticipated crash within the stipulated cost capping.
Andrew Shovlin confirms that the damage to the W12 car is beyond repair
While Totto Wolff has put forward his concerns regarding the impact to the Mercedes upgrades program due to this crash, Mercedes engineering director Andrew Shovlin threw some updates about the car’s condition.
“Unfortunately, the car has not done quite so well,” he admits. “There is a fair amount of damage to that.We have managed to bring a lot of it back to the UK… we’ve got the power unit at Brixworth where that’s being checked and inspected carefully and we will just pick through this and some of the bits we might be able to salvage”
“Unfortunately, quite a lot of it is damaged beyond repair and we are just looking at a logistics plan to try and be able to get sufficient parts to Portimao, which is the week after next, to make sure we can run both cars in the correct spec”, Shovlin added.
Mercedes need to make sure that the nightmares from Imola don’t haunt them for the rest of the season. As Max Verstappen won the Imola GP, they have to come up with something special in the upcoming races to keep up with their supremacy on the grid.
That said, both the drivers and the management have to bring on a perfect plan to tackle crises like Imola, without denting the cost cap.
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