Toto Wolff says Mercedes need to ‘double development speed’ to catch Red Bull

Mercedes have claimed just one victory in the last 25 races, with the Germans already finding themselves 49 points behind Red Bull.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes the Germans need to “double the development speed” of the W14 in order to catch reigning World Champions Red Bull, with Wolff believing that the Brackley-based team are “between six and 12 months” behind the Austrians in terms of knowledge of the new regulations.

There is absolutely no doubt that Red Bull have aced the new aerodynamic regulations, with the side’s two cars of the new regs having been exemplary.

Last season’s RB18 and this season’s RB19 have both been almost impossible to beat, with Red Bull having claimed 17 wins in 2022.

Mercedes on the other hand, have endured an incredibly challenging start to the new aerodynamic era of Formula 1, with the side having been unable to compete with Red Bull.

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The Brackley-based team slipped to third in the pecking order last season, whilst so far this year they are jostling for third with Ferrari, due to the sudden rise of Aston Martin.

What’s let the Germans down is the amount of time they had to spend last season trying to eradicate porpoising, something which saw them fall behind Red Bull and Ferrari in the development race.

Given that the Silver Arrows are set to change the W14’s concept in the next few races, the likelihood is that the Germans will need some time to gain an understanding of their overhaul of changes.

Wolff openly admits that Mercedes are up to “12 months” behind in terms of understanding the new regs due to how long they spent fixing the W13, with the team principal recognising that “we need to be perfect” to catch Red Bull.

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“I think the lag is probably between six and 12 months because that’s the time that it took for us to figure out what was actually happening with the car,” Wolff told The Race.

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“And that means we just need to have double the development speed, a strong development slope.

“Their gains are going to be incrementally smaller if the concept is mature.

“I think aero-wise, windtunnel time can help a bit, but not hugely. It’s just we’ve got to get our act together and if we fundamentally understand where we need to put the car, then the steps are going to be large. But we need to be perfect.”