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Toto Wolff: Mercedes boss says W14 car will ‘look very different’ by middle of the 2023 Formula 1 season

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Mercedes have made a disappointing begin to the 2023 Components 1 season after seeing their eight-year constructors’ title streak finish in 2022; Watch Saudi Arabian GP remaining follow stay on Saturday at 1.30pm on Sky Sports activities F1

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Final Up to date: 18/03/23 7:36am


Toto Wolff says Mercedes’ W14 automobile will look “very completely different” in five-to-seven races’ time after confirming the workforce is now targeted on “one design philosophy”.

After being caught out by the introduction of latest design laws final season and seeing their streak of eight successive constructors’ titles ended by Crimson Bull, Mercedes opted to stay with the identical design philosophy for the 2023 Components 1 season.

Nonetheless, a poor efficiency on the season-opening Grand Prix in Bahrain earlier in March led to Wolff admitting the workforce had acquired it unsuitable, and can be taking a special path, with hypothesis swirling over an alternate ‘Plan B’ automobile design.

Talking completely to Sky Sports activities F1 after Friday follow at this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Wolff supplied an replace on the workforce’s plans for the approaching weeks.

He mentioned: “The query is what do you imply by a Plan B automobile?

Karun Chandhok takes a close look at Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes ahead of practice at the Saudi Arabia GP

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Karun Chandhok takes a detailed take a look at Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes forward of follow on the Saudi Arabia GP

Karun Chandhok takes a detailed take a look at Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes forward of follow on the Saudi Arabia GP

“I feel that the automobile goes to look very completely different in 5, six or seven races primarily based on the selections that we’ve taken and the event route that we’ve launched into.”

Along with coming unstuck beneath the unconventional new 2022 laws, Wolff says Mercedes’ skill to recuperate from their errors has been diminished by the game’s value cap, which was applied in 2021.

“All of us voted for the price cap to kick in with the intention of creating a extra degree taking part in discipline,” Wolff mentioned.

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton say they're hoping to 'maximise' their performance after another difficult day in practice at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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George Russell and Lewis Hamilton say they’re hoping to ‘maximise’ their efficiency after one other tough day in follow on the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton say they’re hoping to ‘maximise’ their efficiency after one other tough day in follow on the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

“We have been bitten by that, that is clear at this stage, however I do not wish to ever say that the price cap would not permit us to catch again up – it is tougher however we merely should.

“The second we resolve, which we have accomplished, which route to go, the place we wish to have the automobile, we’re simply getting on with it and pushing laborious with that one design philosophy.”

‘Lauda would need us to repeat design of different vehicles’

Neither Wolff nor Mercedes’ British driver pairing Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have supplied any element on how the W14 can be altered, however the workforce boss appeared to trace that he believes shifting in direction of the design of Crimson Bull’s pace-setting RB19 is the “easy” possibility.

Wolff was requested about what former Mercedes chairman and three-time F1 world champion Niki Lauda, who performed a vital function in establishing the workforce as the game’s dominant drive earlier than his demise in 2019, would have suggested of their present state of affairs.

Niki Lauda (L) was a huge part of Mercedes' success before his death in 2019

Niki Lauda (L) was an enormous a part of Mercedes’ success earlier than his demise in 2019

“I miss him rather a lot, however I miss him as a buddy foremost,” Wolff mentioned. “We’re all lacking him as a boss.

“For Niki it might have been quite simple, as a result of simplicity is what brings you to the most effective resolution and I do know precisely what he would have mentioned.

“‘Our automobile appears very completely different, let’s make it just like the others and optimise it. We’ve a fantastic workforce, we’ve nice expertise and infrastructure, we are able to do it significantly better than the others, so why do not we simply get on with it?

“Issues are quite simple all the time. You possibly can all the time minimize all of the nonsense out, and on the finish the straightforward selections in life, that are fairly often instinctive selections added along with information that helps them, and that is how Niki operated. Do not overcomplicate issues, get the fundamentals proper.”

‘There’s a lot to study from Aston Martin’

Whereas Mercedes anticipated to start out the season behind reigning world champion Max Verstappen’s Crimson Bull, the very fact they have been overwhelmed by Aston Martin in Bahrain got here as a significant shock.

Vital elements of Aston Martin’s automobile, which took Fernando Alonso to 3rd behind the Crimson Bulls in Bahrain, are equipped by Mercedes, making their spectacular early-season efficiency extra damning to Wolff’s squad.

Fernando Alonso overtook the Mercedes pair of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton before getting past Ferrari's Carlos Sainz to finish third at the Bahrain Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso overtook the Mercedes pair of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton earlier than getting previous Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz to complete third on the Bahrain Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso overtook the Mercedes pair of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton earlier than getting previous Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz to complete third on the Bahrain Grand Prix

Alonso’s second-place end in second follow in Saudi Arabia on Friday suggests Bahrain will not be a one-off, however Wolff is attempting to take the positives and says he’s glad to see his buddy and Aston Martin proprietor Lawrence Stroll having fun with success.

“Why it helps us, they’ve the entire rear finish from our automobile, the suspension, the engines, the gear field – all of that, so we all know there are areas which can be actually good, that we mustn’t query an excessive amount of,” Wolff mentioned.

“But it surely’s different areas the place the vehicles are basically completely different the place we have to set our focus – there’s a lot to study.

“Lawrence has gone via so many tough years, and now the workforce is on the up, they’re profitable, so it is for us to study and never the opposite manner round because it was for a few years.”

Components 1 avenue racing is again! Watch the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix stay on Sky Sports activities F1 this weekend. Saturday’s qualifying and Sunday’s race are stay at 5pm. Get Sky Sports activities



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