Following several reports, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has confirmed that the Silver Arrows are completely changing their concept, with their 2024 car to look drastically different to its predecessor.
2023 has been another disappointing year for Mercedes, who did at least manage to secure second in the Constructors’ Championship last weekend at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
George Russell finishing third and Lewis Hamilton finishing ninth was enough for Mercedes to beat Ferrari by three points, who only had Charles Leclerc finish the race.
Claiming P2 is really Mercedes’ only positive of the season, as they failed to win a race for the first campaign since 2011.
Hamilton did at least secure a shock pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix, although he failed to even convert it into a podium finish.
The Silver Arrows’ biggest issue this year has been how inconsistent the W14 has been, something which made it difficult for both drivers to trust the car.
There were times in the 2023 season where Mercedes actually had the quickest car, but there were also times when they were amongst the midfield.
Whilst they did introduce a new concept at the Monaco Grand Prix which moved away from the controversial ‘zero sidepod’ philosophy, the performances having really been any better than 2022.
As a result, Red Bull’s advantage over the Brackley-based team remains massive, with Wolff recognising that the only “chance” Mercedes has of catching the Austrians is by changing everything for 2024.
“I have never felt optimistic about anything in my life. That makes it sound miserable, but it has protected me about managing my expectations and pushing harder, because I think it is never good enough,” Wolff said, as reported by Crash.net.
“That’s why today I sit here with a bittersweet feeling that we have won P2 today but lost P1.
“So we are changing the concept, we are completely moving away from how we laid out the chassis, the weight distribution, the airflow, I mean literally there is almost every component that has been changed because only by doing that do we have a chance.
“We could get it wrong also, so between not gaining what we expect to catching up, making a big step and competing at the front, everything is possible.
“If you ask me today, there is always scepticism, but that is the mentality in the team that pushes us forward to never give up.”