Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is wary of McLaren potentially taking another big step in right direction and perhaps turn the big three into a big four in 2020.
McLaren, who will be powered by Mercedes engines again from 2021, secured the ‘best of the rest’ spot in the Constructors’ Championship this season – their highest finish since 2012.
As Formula 1 heads toward its final season under the current Concorde Agreement, Wolff is expecting the title battle to be the closest one yet and thinks McLaren could well throw themselves into the mix.
“It’s fair to say that there are three teams capable of winning races today and probably winning championships if things are being put together,” Wolff said in the FIA team principals’ press conference.
“McLaren has massively caught up, probably the steepest performance slope of all teams and will be there or thereabouts [in 2020], in my opinion.
“So, yeah, I see this very much as being a much tougher season. I don’t think we are going to see the kind of 10 race wins or 12 race wins per team for next year any more, but obviously we will be trying everything to optimise our weaknesses and continue to perform well.”
Wolff also made sure to mention that the longer the current regulations are in place, the closer the field will get over time and will thus lead to a closer battle throughout the season.
He added: “We have always defended the standpoint that by letting the regulations alone, performance convergence would happen.
“At least there’s a high probability that convergence happens rather than throwing the dice and introducing something new and I think we have seen that.”