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Mercedes was already prepared for engine mode ban

NEWS STORY
06/09/2020

Despite the latest effort to level the playing field, the much-anticipated ban on engine modes, particularly the party version witnessed in qualifying, didn't appear to make one iota of difference to Mercedes, the Black Arrows locking-out the front row (again) and out-pacing their closes rival by 0.808s.

Speaking after the session, which saw Max Verstappen finish fifth, 0.908s adrift of the world champion, Toto Wolff admitted that aware of the frustration of rivals, Mercedes had been preparing for a ban for some time.

"The way we operate is about extracting performance, and being as adaptable as an organisation," said the Austrian, "almost the Darwinistic principle, to confront every possible situation that comes up.

"Once it was clear that the lobby against our qualifying mode has grown, much before the TD (technical directive) came out, we shifted our development work towards that situation," he admitted.

"Today, we've seen for the first time how the level of performance has changed between the teams, and there are some interesting outcomes. I think maybe the ones that pushed the hardest didn't show great performance today," he added, a clear reference to Red Bull.

"The biggest advantage we have focused on is to gain race time, and that happens tomorrow. But you don't want to praise the day before the evening.

"We are pushing the boundaries, and therefore we've had a really good Saturday, and I'm very pleased for the team. Now we need to do well on Sunday."

It's believed that in reaction to the impending ban, Mercedes simply opted to turn the engine up to 11 - Spinal Tap style - and leave it there for the race.

"We knew that this was coming," he smiled, "and once we knew that this was coming, we said, 'OK, let's use it as an opportunity'.

"We have a great organisation, and the mentality in Brixworth was great. They said bring it on, let's come up with a strong mode for qualifying that we can run all race.

"Overall, we have lost very little qualifying performance, but gained a lot of performance in the race. We can run the engine much harder in the race," he warned.

"We're only able to achieve that with a lot of research and a lot of bench running. So far, so good. Let's see how it pans out over the next sessions."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Monza, here.

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1. Posted by aroutis, 07/09/2020 11:31

"As it turns out, no special modes is not ideal for the race for Merc, since they don't have the best straight line and they cannot make for that with the juicy modes now. "

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