Toto Wolff makes shocking claim about 2023 Brazil GP

Toto Wolff believes starting from scratch in 2024 is the right move following a shocking performance at the Brazilian GP.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff admitted that the Brazilian Grand Prix was the side’s “worst weekend in 13 years”, dating back to when they got back onto the grid in 2010.

The Silver Arrows were shocking at Interlagos, a venue they claimed a famous 1-2 at last season.

From the get-go, it was evident that this wasn’t going to be repeated, with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell having both struggled.

Whilst qualifying and the sprint shootout was somewhat average for Mercedes, the Sprint and the main race itself were dreadful.

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In the sprint, both drivers made a positive start, only for woeful tyre wear to massively hinder their pace.

Hamilton dropped from fifth to seventh in the sprint, whilst Sunday’s race was even worse for the seven-time World Champion.

Once again, both Mercedes drivers made positive starts but it quickly became apparent that they just didn’t have the speed to be amongst the frontrunners.

A DRS train quickly built behind Hamilton, with him and Russell having tumbled down the order after running fourth and fifth in the opening laps.

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Hamilton ended up finishing the race in a disappointing P8, whilst Russell was forced to retire from the race due to a power unit concern.

Even prior to Russell’s retirement, the ex-Williams driver had dropped outside the top-10.

Mercedes as a team were a shadow of the Silver Arrows who challenged Max Verstappen in Mexico City and Austin, with Wolff admitting that the result and the performance of the car overall was “unacceptable”.

“Totally baffling. At the same time, unacceptable for all of us,” Wolff said, as reported by Motorsport Week.

“We are a proper structure, a solid team, and didn’t look like a solid team today.

“Interestingly that within three consecutive races you finish a strong second in both of them, challenging Max, and then a week later you’re ending up nowhere. I believe this is just not on.”

Mercedes are, of course, designing a completely new car for 2024 to try and overcome their struggles from the last two seasons once and for all.

The Brazilian GP has convinced Wolff that it’s the right decision to scrap their 2023 philosophy and start from scratch.

“A lot of change. But this is our route – a fundamentally different car next year. Today proves that is the right thing to do. It confirms it,” Wolff added.

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Mercedes simply couldn’t wait to get out of Brazil and move on from their shocking weekend, which Wolff lamented as the team’s worst since they re-entered F1 in 2010.

“I think Sprint weekends have generally not been our strength. We are working ourselves out of problems on most weekends,” Wolff admitted.

“Swings are on, but not on from being almost quickest to being eighth. For me personally, the worst weekend in 13 years.”