In a strategic move that aligns with Lewis Hamilton’s aspirations, Toto Wolff has announced the team’s dedication to pursuing triumph in the 2024 Formula One season.
This decision emphasises long-term success over immediate, isolated victories in the current year.
Wolff confirmed that Mercedes has already charted the course of development for the W15, their upcoming race car, in preparation for the season opener in Bahrain next March.
While Mercedes demonstrated their prowess by securing a race win through George Russell’s maiden Grand Prix victory at the previous year’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix, the team currently occupies the second position in the Constructors’ Championship.
However, their rival, Red Bull, has maintained an unbroken string of victories on Sundays throughout 2023, led by reigning world champion Max Verstappen.
Verstappen’s commanding 314-point tally has granted him a comfortable lead over Mercedes’ collective points.
Addressing the Mercedes fan base during a mid-season review, Wolff elaborated on their forward-looking strategy, stating, “The sails are set for 2024.
“Now with the car development almost stopped for this year, I find it good because there is so much we can optimise on the current car without looking too much into upgrades…
“Let’s see how we can really get it into more of a sweet spot while gaining more understanding for next year.”
This decision resonates with Lewis Hamilton’s public desire to prioritise the development of the 2024 car, as he seeks a shot at securing his eighth world championship title.
Hamilton’s comments aimed at steering the team’s focus away from sporadic victories against Red Bull this year, in favour of securing a stronger foundation for the forthcoming season.
Hamilton’s last Grand Prix win dates back to the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, where he levelled the points tally at the peak of the Drivers’ Championship standings, heading into the dramatic season finale at Abu Dhabi.
Having previously secured at least one Grand Prix victory in every Formula One season he participated in, Hamilton’s winless streak extended throughout the past year, with his Mercedes teammate George Russell clinching the team’s sole win of the campaign at Interlagos.
Earlier in the ongoing season, Hamilton had been questioned about his prospects for securing wins in 2023, to which he responded, “I think we’ll hopefully get close, but I can’t predict what Aston [Martin] are going to do, what Ferrari are going to do, where Red Bull are going to be, but I hope so.
“But I also hope that we don’t focus too much on winning the race this year.
“I care less to win a race this year, and more to win the championship next year.”