Wolff: Mercedes achieved targets with flawed 2023 concept


Toto Wolff has revealed that Mercedes met the “high targets” it had for its flawed 2023 Formula 1 during development.

After a poor 2022 season, Mercedes doubled-down on its zero sidepod concept for 2023, but were more than 50 seconds behind race winner Max Verstappen in Bahrain.

Lewis Hamilton has criticised the team for not “listening” to him over the development of the W14, with Wolff admitting a change in concept was needed, with an upgrade package pencilled in for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in May.

However, the Mercedes boss has admitted that the development targets for the new car were met during the off-season.

Wolff’s concept admission

“We set ourselves very high targets and we’ve achieved those high targets,” Wolff explained to media including RacingNews365.com when asked if the team set themselves high enough targets.

“I think it’s where we set those targets, all of us collectively, and how we need to maybe change the perspective which is an interesting exercise. It is also something I’m looking forward to.

“I’d rather win every single race and continue to win championship after championship, but this is now the real challenge, and for me it is an interesting one, as painful as it is today.

“It is pretty clear where we should be going, we just need to make the data work and I think the most important thing is re-establishing a baseline to say: ‘This is where we are and that there are no surprises in the other direction.”

			© XPBimages
© XPBimages

Mercedes eyeing different concepts

With most of the field – notably Aston Martin – gravitating towards a so-called ‘Red Bull’ approach, Wolff admitted that Mercedes had been keeping an eye of other concepts.

“We’ve looked at other ideas and haven’t stood still,” he explained.

“That’s not only in the two weeks when we saw that we haven’t been able to close the gap, but we’ve done it for a while just to be open-minded, and still with an emphasis on making this [concept] work.

“But we’ve already looked at different concepts.”

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