Mercedes boss rejects talk of rule changes

Sat Apr 5, 2014 3:54pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

MANAMA (Reuters) - Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff has dismissed as 'absurd' suggestions that Formula One could rewrite its rules just because some teams have failed to make the most of new technology.

Ferrari and champions Red Bull have been particularly vocal critics of the new V6 turbo era that has seen the pecking order overturned with Mercedes-powered teams enjoying a performance advantage.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, who has bemoaned the lack of engine noise and fuel-saving rules he says turn F1 racers into taxi drivers, is due to attend Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix.

Ahead of his arrival, the Sakhir paddock was full of speculation about proposals for change and talk of shorter races or a greater fuel allocation than the current 100kg limit.

"We are eight tenths (of a second) off (the) pole (time) from last year with a car that is 25 percent down on downforce, with much harder tires, with 30 percent less fuel consumption, is heavier, with more power and more torque and greater straightline speed," Wolff told reporters on Saturday.

"So what are we talking about? We are in a brilliant technical revolution and we are talking the sport down," he added, so prepared for the questions that he arrived with some pre-written observations on a sheet of paper.

"Is it because we have an agenda? Somehow I don't get it," added the Austrian, whose drivers have won both races so far and qualified on pole in all three.

Nico Rosberg, on pole for Sunday's race, is the championship leader with team mate Lewis Hamilton 18 points behind after winning in Malaysia last weekend.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One Executive Director (Business) Toto Wolff smiles during a news conference after the second practice session of the Australian F1 Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne March 14, 2014. REUTERS/Brandon Malone