Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says Formula 1 should be founded on a meritocracy, insisting that balance of power gimmicks are mere “political games” that have no place in the sport.

Mercedes recently opposed the experimental trial of a reverse-grid qualifying race to spice up the show, forcing F1 to scrap the idea as unanimity among the sport’s teams was required to rubber-stamp the concept.

However, teams did vote through the introduction in 2021 of a new radical sliding scale limit on aerodynamic testing that will restrict teams’ windtunnel time based on their success on the track.

Coupled with next season’s $145 million budget cap, the scheme will hopefully create a more level playing field and closer competition.

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“I am a fan of the meritocracy of F1, the best man and best machine wins,” said Wolff, quoted by

“And this is how it always was, no gimmicky stuff like in some other sports, where the show people have added components that have diluted the sport.

“I hate any kind of balance of performance. It becomes a political game and a political world championship and has no place in F1.

“What has been introduced with the new ATR (aerodynamic testing regulations) is a possibility for the lowered ranked teams to slowly creep back in terms of development scope to where the leading teams are.

“It’s tiny percentages every year so that’s not going to make a big difference from one year to the other, but it’s going to balance the field out after a few years.”

    Budget cap could help drive Mercedes into other series

Wolff believes the ATR approach represents a incremental “adjustment” that contrasts with a “baseball bat” attitude as embodied by the reverse-grid idea.

“I believe that if you’re not good enough to win any more, then you have equal opportunity,” he added. You’re second or third, you have more scope again than the world champion.

“I think it was done as a fine adjustment, not with a baseball bat. The reverse grids would have been a baseball bat.”

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