Toto Wolff addresses Lewis Hamilton’s Red Bull comments

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes remain unable to agree terms for a new contract for the Briton.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has hinted that the team will reconsider its car development strategy by drawing inspiration from Red Bull. 

This comes in response to McLaren’s outstanding performance during qualifying at the British Grand Prix, with Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri securing second and third places, respectively.

McLaren introduced a significant upgrade to its car during the previous race in Austria and continued development at Silverstone, including upgrades to the floor and sidepods. 

Lewis Hamilton noted the similarities between McLaren’s MCL60 and the dominant Red Bull F1 challenger of 2023.

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The impressive performance of the McLaren team has garnered attention in the paddock, particularly considering their position at the rear of the field at the start of the 2023 season. 

Wolff confirmed that Mercedes had already explored the implementation of Red Bull’s ideas in its own car but suggested that they may need to revisit the concept given McLaren’s recent surge in performance.

Wolff stated, “I think from what you see from the outside, which is only half of the information, is that the car looks like a Red Bull. 

“As a matter of fact, to be honest, it doesn’t matter because only the stopwatch counts. 

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“This is what I guess Lewis was referring to because this design seems to be a good direction. 

“But it is easier said than done, and each of us had bodywork that looked like the Red Bull in the [wind] tunnel, and it didn’t translate into performance. 

“So you have got to leave no stone unturned and maybe do it again because another team has just found a second in performance.”

Reflecting on the season’s progress, Wolff highlighted Aston Martin’s significant improvement and podium finishes in the early rounds. 

With McLaren being the latest midfield team to make notable gains, Wolff believes that Mercedes can draw inspiration from their progress. 

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He expressed his admiration for their accomplishments, stating, “I think it is very encouraging to see that Aston Martin found massive chunks of lap time from last year to this year, and in the same way, you see McLaren doing that. 

“That is something that you need to take your hat off to. 

“If we see that consolidating, it is certainly a good example of how you can turn things around.”