Toto Wolff says he is looking ahead to 2017 with a mix of excitement and apprehension.
That is because while agreeing that the laptime boost with the faster cars next year will be “impressive”, the Mercedes boss warned it may come at the cost of wheel-to-wheel racing.
“For now, I see the data and it’s true that it is impressive,” he told the French newspaper Le Figaro.
“I can’t tell you what the gain will be per lap but we can talk about several seconds. We will see really tired drivers on the podium after the races.
“The only thing that gives me pause is that this extra G-force will not be seen on the TV. And it may become more difficult to follow the other cars because the air behind becomes more and more unstable,” Wolff added.
And he also admitted he is worried the 2017 revolution could shake Mercedes’ spot at the top of the F1 tree.
“I worry about this at every race,” said Wolff.
“I always fear that our performance will not be enough, but on the other hand I have absolute confidence in my team to meet this challenge with success.”
As for whether he thinks F1 is heading in the right direction for the future, Wolff nodded.
“Recently, we have had great stories to sell, like Sebastian Vettel complaining of a lack of respect from Max Verstappen to the established drivers, and the battle between Lewis and Nico.
“At this level, yes, F1 is going in the right direction,” he said.