Toto Wolff reveals why Mercedes aren’t focussing on 2024 car

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are still yet to announce a contract extension for 2024 and beyond.

Mercedes remains determined to challenge Red Bull Racing’s pure pace in Formula 1 this season, indicating their decision to delay shifting full focus to the 2024 car. 

Despite a challenging race in Austria, the German manufacturer firmly believes that there is untapped performance potential in their W14 car.

To further enhance their performance, Mercedes has planned a series of upgrades for the upcoming British Grand Prix. 

These upgrades reportedly include an updated front wing designed to improve aerodynamic balance, particularly in low-speed corners. 

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

The team hopes that these developments will narrow the gap to Red Bull and strengthen their competitive edge.

While Red Bull’s Max Verstappen appears to be unstoppable on his path to a potential third world title, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff does not view him as invincible. 

When asked about the possibility of beating Red Bull on pure pace terms this year, Wolff replied, “I maintain the belief because if I were to say I don’t maintain the belief, then we may as well turn it off and put everything into next year’s car, and be happy to finish in the top 10. 

“But you can’t. You just have to continue working.”

Article continues below

Wolff emphasised the importance of persevering through difficult races and using them as learning opportunities. 

He recalled previous races where Mercedes showed promise, such as finishing within a 10-second gap of Verstappen in Montreal, which gives him confidence in the team’s potential.

Despite a temporary setback in Austria, Wolff is not alarmed about Mercedes slipping behind in the championship race. 

He believes that the competitive order among the chasing pack fluctuates depending on track characteristics and upgrade cycles. 

Wolff stated, “It seems to be changing from race to race, and there’s not quite a pattern that we can discover so far. 

“What I hear is that Ferrari and McLaren had an upgrade [in Austria], and that could be one of the explanations. 

“But we’re bringing one next week [to Silverstone].”

While Mercedes remains optimistic about their chances of winning races, Red Bull continues to display the potential to dominate the season. 

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner recognises that a single stroke of bad luck can derail their clean sweep. 

Horner recalled an incident from the British Grand Prix last year when debris affected Verstappen’s race, highlighting the fine margins between victory and failure.

READ: Team punished by the FIA after using poo emoji

Acknowledging the need for constant vigilance, Horner emphasised that maintaining their performance requires staying at the top of their game. 

He expressed confidence ahead of the upcoming Silverstone race but remained aware of external variables that could disrupt their success. 

Horner stated, “We’ve just got to stay at the top of our game and see how long we can keep this run rolling for. 

“We will go to Silverstone with confidence but also acutely aware that it is very easy to drop the ball and very easy for variables to come in that are sometimes beyond your control.”