Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe
Formula 1 Bahrain GP

Wolff: Mercedes must change car concept to return to top in F1

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his team needs to change car concept if it wants to get back to the front of Formula 1.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

After a disappointing qualifying for the season-opener in Bahrain, with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton qualifying sixth and seventh, Wolff said the reality of his team’s lack of performance had hit home.

With the squad having pushed on with the same car concept as last year, while many rivals had gone down the Red Bull downwash solution, Wolff said it was time to admit his outfit had got it wrong.

Having launched its new W14 with the belief it could eventually be made into a winner, Wolff said his tune had now changed and it was time to pursue other options.

Asked by Autosport if he agreed with Hamilton’s assessment earlier in the weekend that Mercedes would not hit its targets with the current concept, Wolff said: “I don't think this package is going to be competitive eventually.

“We gave it our best shot all over the winter, and now we just need to all regroup and sit down with the engineers, who are totally not dogmatic about anything.

“There are no holy cows and we need to decide what is the development direction that we want to pursue, in order to be competitive to win races.

“It's not only like last year, where you are scoring many podiums and eventually you get there.

“I'm sure we can win races this season. But it's really the mid and long term that we need to look at, and which decisions we need to take.”

Mick Schumacher, Reserve Driver, Mercedes-AMG, with Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes-AMG

Mick Schumacher, Reserve Driver, Mercedes-AMG, with Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes-AMG

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Wolff suggested a deep analysis of Mercedes’ long-term plan would need to be made after this weekend’s Bahrain GP.

But he was clear that even if the team elected to pursue an all-new concept, it would not give up on trying to push forward as much as it could with the W14.

“We are racers, and we are racing, and we will never give up fighting every single session to be on top,” he said.

Read Also:

“If you look at the pecking order, today, you say, well, it's not realistic. But I'm looking at what can we find next week? What can we add to the car? What is the change of direction that we can implement? And how quickly is that, so that maybe we can turn the ship around this year?

"It's just first qualifying of '23. That's why I don't want to discount anything for this year, while being totally realistic that it [the car] needs a lot to change a lot.”

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation

Related video

Previous article F1 Bahrain Grand Prix – Start time, starting grid, how to watch, & more
Next article Russell: Alonso bigger F1 Bahrain GP 'dark horse than Ferrari'

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe