Toto Wolff makes unusual comparison to Mercedes’ struggles

After winning eight constructors’ championships in a row, Mercedes finished third in 2023.

Mercedes’ 2022 season did not go even slightly how they would have planned it, finishing in third place without ever really laying a glove on eventual champions Red Bull.

The team clearly struggled to get to grips with the major regulation changes that came into effect at the start of the year, with the aerodynamics in particular becoming an issue.

The W13 was slow from the very start but also harboured a severe porpoising issue, which took the Silver Arrows around half of the season to solve.

The bouncing problem baffled teams up and down the paddock, with the low running cars hitting the ground and causing their drivers a lot of pain, especially on the longer straights.

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Red Bull technical officer Adrian Newey was one of the few people who managed to foresee the issue, resulting in the RB-18 not experiencing this issue as badly as some of the other teams.

He explained that it is a “phenomenon that’s in the genes of these cars,” and that teams should have predicted the bouncing,

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has hit back at these claims, claiming that knowing about something and experiencing it is two different things.

“I see analysts and investors in the capital market today who are in their 40’s and made the same mistakes as in the 2000’s, because these people didn’t experience the 2000s,” Wolff told Auto Motor und Sport.

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“It’s not enough to read in a book how the stock market crash happened or the internet bubble burst.

“There is an uncanny advantage – and this is something I personally witnessed – to go through the whole cycle. From the moment everything goes through the roof to the crash.

“Coupled with the belief that is just a snapshot. This is followed by the disillusionment that, unfortunately, it continues. One admits to oneself that the market was simply overheated and valuations too high.

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“Fast forward to this year. This is exactly what happened on the stock markets. Astronomical valuations for internet and tech start-ups, despite a negative macroeconomic environment.”

Mercedes will be hoping that they have learnt enough from their 2022 failures to become title challengers once again this year, having described last season as a humbling experience.

Wolff has claimed that the Silver Arrows have been brought back down to earth and are now hungrier than ever to succeed in 2023, even suggesting that last season could be looked upon fondly in the future as the catalyst for future success.