Toto Wolff has rubbished suggestions that Mercedes’ dealings with their customers led to the recent push for equal treatment, saying they’ve always received the “same hardware and software”.
Ahead of the 2018 season, the FIA issued a directive to all the teams in which they closed a loophole to ensure that all teams running the same engines are on an equal footing.
The technical directive stated: “With this in mind, we will expect all power units supplied by the same manufacturer to be:
“i) Identical according to the dossier for each team.
“and, unless a team informs us that they have declined any of the following, they should be:
“ii) Run with identical software and must be capable of being operated in precisely the same way.
“iii) Run with identical specifications of oil and fuel.”
Christian Horner implied that Williams may be behind the push for equal treatment, telling the media to “ask Claire Williams” when he was questioned about the matter.
However, Wolff, whose Mercedes team supply Williams with engines, insists their customers – which include Force India – are not behind the complaints.
“I don’t think any of our customers were pushing for it,” the Mercedes motorsport boss told Autosport.
“It’s not relevant for us, because the rules have been in place for a while that you must supply the customers with the same hardware and software from a power unit standpoint, and we’ve always done that.”
He added: “Identical modes for the customers and us – there has never been any difference.
“They have the same mileage allowance as the works team, there is no difference whatsoever.
“That’s why we have no problem with that. If there is any suspicion out there, it certainly wasn’t anything that would have any consequence for us.
“We have the belief that sharing modes and engine calibration among six cars triggers a steeping learning curve for us than running different engine specifications between the customers and the works team.”