Toto says Mercedes has hit the wall on development

You’ll forgive me if I am having a little trouble believing that Mercedes have done all they can do with this current power unit and chassis under these regulations.

An article over at AUTOSPORT mentions how they are down 24 points from this time last year and team boss Toto Wolff says it’s a law of diminished returns. Okay, maybe that’s true but I think they still have power to spare and are still nearly .500s up on the field.

“We’re maxed out on performance, as is normal at the end of a regulation cycle, and when that happens everything becomes more marginal,” said Wolff ahead of Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

“This is where we find ourselves right now, so we must remain focused on every last detail.”

Perhaps Toto is right in that changing the rules now is only going to reset things at just the time that other teams are starting to close in on them but I’m not sure I am buying that either.

The limited engine development that is opened up next year allows teams to develop the current system, the engine regulations aren’t changing radically so much as the chassis and aero as well as tires are.

I think Mercedes knows how to build a chassis and with their very good power unit, they should be fine but the key will be how much gains Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren and Renault can make with their power unit and will they get the new chassis right?

My hunch, and I could be wrong here, is that Mercedes will still be a strong force in 2017 due to a significant power advantage. Some of that could be neutered if Ferrari, Renault and Honda make significant upgrades over the winter though so I could be way off.

Toto knows far better than I but I would say winning nearly all the races and their dominance this season means we would still have a long way to go under these current regulations before other teams could mount any serious title bid against them.