Toto Wolff explains his ‘eventually’ comment

2022 was Mercedes' worst season in Formula 1 since 2012, with the Germans targeting an instant response this year.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is confident that his side “will be competitive” in the forthcoming 2023 season; however, the Austrian has admitted that the side aren’t sure “when” they’ll actually hit the front.

Whilst it’s expected that Mercedes will be closer to Red Bull and Mercedes come the Bahrain Grand Prix, the general belief is that they still won’t be on a par with their rivals, despite having worked relentlessly hard over the off-season.

Despite this, there is more belief amongst the team this year that they will eventually join the leading fight, something they didn’t do until the very end of last season.

2022 simply can’t be replicated, given that it would mark two consecutive seasons of poor performances.

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There is certainly more confidence, though, heading into 2023, despite the fact that seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton is convinced that the Germans “won’t be the fastest out the gate”.

During the team’s launch at Silverstone last week, the word “eventually” was thrown around a lot, with the side refusing to state if they’ll immediately be back in the title fight.

Wolff discussed the word at the launch and admitted that the Brackley-based team this season are aiming to remain “humble and realistic”, given that the expectation is that Red Bull and Ferrari will have also improved.

“So I was contemplating about that word for 15 minutes when we talked about the press release!” Wolff said.

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“Because on one side, you want to say we will be competitive. On the other side, you need to stay humble and realistic. So you could be saying, I hope that we will be competitive.

“And the midway roundhouse is, we will be competitive. We just don’t know when. And that was the ‘eventually’.

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“I think we are on the slope that we wanted to be on in terms of our performance but then you don’t know where the other ones are.

“I think humility is most important. We’ve always tried to be humble, and especially after last year.

“We need to remind ourselves that we were quite far off for a long time in the season.”