Nico Rosberg delivers blunt Toto Wolff assessment amid Mercedes woes

Toto Wolff has faced criticism in recent weeks for Mercedes' poor start to the 2023 F1 season.

2016 Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg remains adamant that Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is still the “best team manager” at the pinnacle of motorsport, despite the Germans’ miserable time so far in the new era of the sport.

Mercedes’ dominant years feel incredibly long ago, with the side having sat in the shadows since the conclusion of the 2021 season.

The new aerodynamic era hasn’t been kind to Mercedes, with Wolff having accepted a lot of the responsibility for the team’s difficulties.

With just one win in the last 24 races, the Silver Arrows are certainly not the unbeatable force they were from 2014-2021, with the side continuing to chase a return to the front.

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It somewhat appears, though, that the more they try the further behind they fall, with Mercedes having found themselves further behind Red Bull in 2023 than they were last season.

Whilst porpoising is no longer an issue, a lack of downforce has resulted in the W14 being slow in a straight-line, something which was evident at the recent Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Being around third or fourth in the pecking order is clearly taking its toll on Wolff, who has been incredibly honest to the media when explaining what’s going wrong at the Brackley-based team.

His honesty has resulted in some backlash, though, with former F1 team owner Eddie Jordan having been furious at comments made by Wolff after Bahrain, where he appeared to blame the design team at Mercedes.

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Rosberg recognises that the current situation at Mercedes is “incredibly difficult” but that ultimately, Wolff “is responsible”.

“It’s incredibly difficult, it’s an incredibly difficult situation for everyone,” Rosberg said.

“Because they’re so used to success and they’ve written the greatest success story ever written in sport, with eight world championship titles in a row.

“And yes, Toto is ultimately the one who is responsible and still is.

“For me, he is the best team manager and team boss here in Formula 1.”

Drastic changes are coming to the W14 in the next few races, with Wolff having revealed during the Saudi Arabian GP that the concept of their car is going to be overhauled, with many expecting the revolutionary ‘zero-sidepods’ to be scrapped.

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The hope amongst Mercedes is that the changes will elevate them back to the front; however, Rosberg has warned that the situation is an “incredibly difficult” one to “turnaround”.

“The competence is simple, I’ve experienced that myself and this success in recent years is proof of that,” added the former Mercedes driver.

“But every success comes to an end at some point, that’s always been the case and now it’s just an incredibly difficult challenge to make this turnaround again.”