Toto Wolff: Mercedes boss says W14 cars ‘look very different’ by mid-2023 F1 season
Mercedes has made a disappointing start to the 2023 F1 season after ending an eight-year Constructors’ title streak in 2022. Watch the Saudi Grand Prix final practice live on Saturday at 1:30pm with Sky Sports F1
Last updated: 18/03/23 7:36am
After confirming that the team is now focused on “one design philosophy”, Wolff said Mercedes’ W14 car will look “very different” for five to seven races.
After being caught up in the introduction of new design regulations last season and ending eight straight Constructors’ titles with Red Bull, Mercedes has opted to stick to the same design philosophy for the 2023 F1 season.
But after a poor performance at the season-opening Grand Prix in Bahrain in early March, Wolff admitted the team was wrong and speculation swirled around another ‘Plan B’ car design the other way around. You will have to walk
speak exclusively sky sports f1 After Friday’s free practice at this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Wolff provided an update on the team’s plans for the coming weeks.
He said: “The question is, what do you mean by plan B car?
“I think the car will look very different in five, six or seven races, based on the decisions we’ve made and the direction of development we’ve embarked on.”
In addition to being stuck under the radical new 2022 regulations, Wolff said the sport’s cost cap introduced in 2021 has reduced Mercedes’ ability to recover from its mistakes.
“We all voted for cost caps with the goal of establishing a more level playing field,” said Wolff.
“We were annoyed by it. It’s obvious at this stage, but I never want to say we can’t keep up because of the cost cap. It’s harder, but it simply has to be.
“The moment we decide what we’ve done, which direction we’re going and where we want the car to be, we just go ahead and push that one design philosophy hard.”
“Lauda wants to copy the design of other cars.”
Neither Wolff nor Mercedes’ British drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have given any details on how the W14 will be modified, but the team boss has confirmed that the RB19 will set the pace for Red Bull. He seems to have hinted that he believes moving to a design of “simple”. ” Optional.
Wolff played a key role in establishing the team as the sport’s dominant force before his death in 2019, and former Mercedes chairman and three-time Formula 1 world champion Niki Lauda has played an important role in the current situation. I was asked what I advised.
“I miss him, but most of all I miss him as a friend,” Wolff said.
“For Niki it would have been very simple, because simplicity leads to the best decisions and I know exactly what he would say.
“Our car looks very different. Let’s optimize it like any other car. You can do well with it?
“Things are always pretty simple. You can always cut all the nonsense and finally make a simple life decision. This is often an instinctive decision and the data to back it up. This was Niki’s way, don’t overcomplicate things and get the basics right.”
‘There’s a lot to learn from Aston Martin’
Mercedes had hoped to start the season behind reigning world champion Max Verstappen’s Red Bull, but the fact that they lost to Aston Martin in Bahrain came as a big surprise.
Vital parts for Aston Martin’s car, which propelled Fernando Alonso to third behind Red Bull in Bahrain, are sourced from Mercedes, and Mercedes’ impressive early-season performance has further troubled Wolff’s team.
Alonso’s second-place finish in Friday’s second free practice in Saudi Arabia suggests that Bahrain is not a one-off, but Wolff is trying to take it positively and his friend and said he was happy to see Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll enjoying success.
“Why it helps us, they have the whole rear end of our car, the suspension, the engine, the gearbox, so we know there are really good areas where we shouldn’t ask too much. I know, said Wolff.
“But what we need to focus on is other areas where the machine is fundamentally different and we have a lot to learn.”
“Lawrence has been through so many difficult years, but now the team is on the upswing and is having success. and not vice versa.”
Formula 1 street racing is back! Watch the Saudi Grand Prix live this weekend on Sky Sports F1. Saturday’s qualifying and Sunday’s race will be broadcast live at 5pm. get sky sports