Toto Wolff: 2017 regulations 'the wrong decision' for overtaking

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has warned that changes to the regulations for 2017 will limit the amount of overtaking seen in races.

F1 is targeting a 30% increase in downforce in 2017 in order to make cars up to five seconds faster per lap. The hope is that the more extreme cars will be more spectacular to watch, but while lap times are expected to plummet, the racing could be adversely affected.

"The cars will not be able to follow each other," Wolff said on Mercedes' YouTube channel. "I think adding downforce was a mistake. We like the challenge and the guys in aero have taken the fight up, but I think for Formula One generally, for overtaking, it was the wrong decision.

"We have made a step towards more downforce which means that the car that is following will have more disturbed air because of the wake of the car. You can almost imagine like a motorboat and the wake.

"At the moment when you follow a car closely, you lose downforce, so when you have 100kg of downforce and you follow a car, that will drop to 50 or 40 the nearer you come. That ruins your tyres and as a consequence you will not be able to overtake. A great example was Lewis [Hamilton] and Max Verstappen in Melbourne. The same will happen next year, but much more."

Wolff said the cars are already the fastest on the planet after Lewis Hamilton broke the qualifying record at the Bahrain Grand Prix last weekend.

"We've done that with a much heavier car, a standard tyre, not like in the old days where there was a tyre war between Bridgestone and Michelin. It's a major achievement and it's something which we should discuss more in public rather than talking the sport down and the inefficiencies.

"Those cars are bloody fast, the fastest cars on the planet."