Toto Wolff explains quick changes Mercedes will make to car for Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Toto Wolff says that Mercedes will look to reduce the size of their wings for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix this weekend, as they bid to close the performance gap to the likes of Red Bull and early championship leaders Ferrari.

Merc were on hand to pick up the pieces after Red Bull’s double retirement on Sunday at the Bahrain Grand Prix, as they finished 3rd and 4th behind the Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

A good result all things considered for the Silver Arrows, then, but it is clear that on pure pace they are the third-quickest team at the moment, at best.

That said, then, they’ll be looking at ways they can close up to the Scuderia and the Bulls and Wolff believes taking off some wing will help them, with that reducing drag when the car is travelling at high speed.

Speaking post-Bahrain, Wolff explained Mercedes’ tweaks in typically blunt fashion:

“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.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – MARCH 20: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W13 ahead of Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing retiring from the race during the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 20, 2022 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

“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 idea of an F1 team taking a chainsaw to something as high-tech as an F1 car is pretty amusing, but it does rather aptly describe what Mercedes are planning to do.

They’ll reduce their wing sizes for Jeddah, reducing drag and allowing for a higher top speed, sacrificing a bit of stability in the process.

If it closes the gap to Ferrari and Red Bull, though, it’s a decision worth taking.

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