Mercedes are certain that 2022 title contenders Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Ferrari are taking advantage of a loophole in the regulations to gain a performance advantage. The Silver Arrows are confident that they will close the gap to the top two when the new Technical Directive (TD) comes into effect in Belgium.

The reigning Constructors' Champions are not expecting to make up ground, but for their rivals to lose time and fall back. Mercedes are confident that Red Bull and Ferrari will lose up to two tenths of a second per lap when the Formula 1 season resumes in Spa-Francorchamps.

The TD was issued by the FIA after multiple teams, mainly Mercedes, complained about the porpoising issue in their cars. It was deemed unsafe for the drivers in the long-term by the governing body, which gave them the right to bypass the team vote and issue regulation changes midway through the season.

George Russell
Mercedes's George Russell POOL via AFP / CHRISTIAN BRUNA

It was during this that Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff noted that certain teams were taking advantage of a loophole to improve performance on the underside of the car. George Russell did not mince his words when he called out Red Bull and Ferrari for "pushing boundaries" when it came to following the regulations.

The FIA have put new checks in place that will come into effect at the Belgian Grand Prix and many feel Red Bull and Ferrari will be the most affected. According to Auto Motor und Sport's Michael Schmidt, Mercedes are convinced that they will make up ground on the two leading teams in the second-half of the season.

However, while the Brackley-based team is upbeat, both Red Bull and Ferrari have no worries about the new regulations. Christian Horner dismissed Wolff's suspicions about an illegal floor by stating that he has no concern with regards to his team's cars.

"I mean, I don't know. Maybe he's referring to... I don't know, cars that are around him at the moment. I've no idea but absolutely no issues or concerns on our floor," Horner said, as quoted on Planet F1.

Red Bull and Ferrari are said to be more concerned about the change in regulations, mainly to the floor of the car, being recommended for 2023. At least four teams are against changing the regulations, which they believe is being forced upon them to aid Mercedes in their bid to catch the front-runners.

Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen
Charles Leclerc in his Ferrari and Max Verstappen swapped the lead several times in a furious start to the race AFP / OZAN KOSE