Toto Wolff admits ‘complete disaster’ is the ‘right feeling’ for Mercedes

Mercedes finished third in the constructors’ championship in 2022, ending a run of eight consecutive titles.

While some teams seemed to take to the new regulations like a duck to water, others struggled to figure out the best development path in F1’s new era.

Mercedes were one of the teams who found it difficult to transition to the new era, selecting a development path that led to an uncompetitive W13 which harboured a major porpoising problem. 

When the Silver Arrows finally managed to upgrade their package after they had solved the bouncing issue, they finally became a competitive team and even won a race in Brazil courtesy of George Russell.

These upgrades did not come until the United States Grand Prix in Austin however, meaning that the team finished a lowly third behind Red Bull and Ferrari in the final championship standings, with their drivers in fourth and sixth.

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The season has been branding as a absolute disaster by many, but team principal Toto Wolff has claimed that everything is not as bad as it seems, suggesting that their failures are part of a process.

“For me, the perspective, or the planning, is not about the sort-term, it’s not about a race, even a season or two or five,” explained the Austrian.

“It’s about [the fact] I would like this team to consistently develop, to be chasing for race victories and championships every single year but not taking it for granted, not having any sense of entitlement.

“If I hear us talking it almost sounds like the complete disaster of all seasons. It felt like it and I think this is the right feeling.”

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Wolff has claimed that continuity is key in Formula 1 and is confident of a swift return to winning ways as his team will have the same staff, drivers and financial backing as they have in previous years next season.

The Silver Arrows have shown off the first start-up of the W14 on social media, proving that development for the 2023 challenger is already well underway.

With Mercedes finishing two places below Red Bull in the championship last year, and they energy drink giants being penalised for their breach of the 2021 cost cap, Wolff has suggested that if his team wish to return to the pinnacle of F1, it is imperative that they take advantage of their significant different in wind tunnel testing time in 2023.