Toto Wolff delivers Lewis Hamilton disappointment

Toto Wolff has admitted that Mercedes won't know until the Spanish GP if their new concept is a "step forward".

Lewis Hamilton has been warned by Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff that the Silver Arrows’ new concept this weekend at the Monaco Grand Prix won’t see them magically catch Red Bull “any time soon”, with the Austrians sitting 128 points ahead of the Germans after just five races.

Following the cancellation of last weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Mercedes are now set to introduce the W14’s new concept at the Circuit de Monaco, having initially planned to run it in Imola.

Many have questioned why Mercedes are introducing it this weekend rather than in Barcelona next weekend, with the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya being a more conventional track.

Monaco is tight, twisty and incredibly bumpy, resulting in the general belief that the Brackley-based team are just desperate for their fortunes to change.

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Some, though, have pondered whether Mercedes have seen something very positive in the simulator regarding the new concept, hence why they’re introducing it at such an unconventional venue.

Interestingly, Wolff has openly admitted that the team won’t know if the new concept has improved the W14’s performance until next weekend in Spain, given how unique Monaco is.

“Of course we would have liked to see how we are doing with the new car. When you completely revamp a car, you want to know what the upgrade package can do,” Wolff told OE24.

“Monaco has nothing to do with a conventional race track. That’s why we won’t find out next weekend whether what we’ve changed on the car will actually do anything. So it remains exciting.”

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Mercedes will be dreaming of suddenly returning to the top of the timesheets this weekend as a result of their new concept; however, in reality Wolff knows that just isn’t going to happen.

The Austrian is very much aware that their deficit to Red Bull won’t change overnight, with the aim of the new concept being to finally take a “step forward”.

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“Unfortunately, that won’t happen any time soon. But I’m hoping for a step forward,” Wolff added.

“We had to react to Red Bull’s superiority. Because we couldn’t find a solution to make the old car fast at the front or rear, we rebuilt the underbody, bodywork (e.g. side boxes, ed.) and front wheel suspension.

“There are no miracles in Formula 1. We won’t go half a second faster now, but hopefully we’ll have fewer problems and can continue to work with a competitive car. So far it has been too stiff and stubborn.”