Wolff: Engine stockpile loophole should be closed

Date published: August 29 2016

Having used a loophole to stockpile engines for Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff has now called for it to be closed.

Hitting the limits of his allocated engine parts in Belgium, Mercedes changed Hamilton’s power unit three times in order to build up a pool of engines.

The changes meant Hamilton incurred a 55-place grid penalty that saw him start the grand prix from the final row of the grid.

Despite that he still raced to third place.

Speaking after the race, Hamilton said: “I think I now have more engines than most so now the fight is really on and hopefully for us it’ll be a cleaner second half of the season and we can see some good fights.”

However, having made use of the loophole, Mercedes motorsport boss Wolff hascalled for it to be closed, saying that should have happened last sesaon already when McLaren made use of it.

He told Autosport: “Last year we had a race where Jenson [Button] took 52 places, and it was so ridiculous.

“To use more than one engine over a race weekend, that shouldn’t be happening.

“So we tried to bring in a regulation saying you cannot stockpile engines, but it failed.

“The proposal wasn’t accepted by the other teams.

“So this time around we decided to take more engines on board and put them on stock.

“But the system is far from perfect, and it sounds a bit ridiculous.

“We should probably close that loophole.”