Toto Wolff promises Lewis Hamilton ‘many innovations’ after controversial remarks

Lewis Hamilton has pointed out where the Mercedes W14 needs to improve as Toto Wolff insists upgrades are coming.

Toto Wolff has opened up on Mercedes’ upgrade plans after Lewis Hamilton suggested what they need to improve with their W14 2023 challenger.

A disappointing start to the new era of regulations last season has carried over into the 2023 campaign, with the Silver Arrows still unable to reclaim top spot on the grid as Red Bull dominate in the early stages of the season.

Hamilton managed to finish on the podium behind only Max Verstappen in a chaotic race around Albert Park at the Australian Grand Prix, a stark improvement following a slow start for Mercedes in the opening two races of the season.

They now sit third in the constructor standings, but major upgrades to the car are still expected with the W14 still unable to challenge the Red Bulls consistently with its unique, no sidepod philosophy.

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Wolff opened up on Mercedes’ upgrade plans over the coming weeks and months, saying: “There are many innovations in the pipeline, the layout of the car will change at Imola and we will see what this step entails.”

Those changes follow on from Hamilton’s own criticisms of the Mercedes, where he claimed that the seating position was a specific issue that needed addressing: “We sit closer to the front wheels than all the other drivers. Our cockpit is too close to the front. When you’re driving, you feel like you’re sitting on the front wheels which is one of the worst feelings to feel when you’re driving a car.

“If you were driving your car at home, and you put the wheels right underneath your legs, you would not be happy when you’re approaching the roundabout!”

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He added that the position makes the car ‘harder to predict’ with regards to its movement, citing that as an explanation for his struggles.

Mercedes’ challenger stands out on the grid due to its extreme design and build in comparison to the rest of the cars, but the unique sidepod design is expected to change following the significant upgrades scheduled for the coming weeks and months.

Their struggles in the wake of the new regulations was highlighted by Hamilton finishing the 2022 season without a single victory.