Toto Wolff sends warning to Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc

George Russell claimed Mercedes' only win in 2022, with Lewis Hamilton having endured a woeful year.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has warned Red Bull and Ferrari that the team’s 2023 car, the W14, is “full of surprises”, as the Silver Arrows look to get back to winning ways in the upcoming campaign.

2022 was not a good year for Mercedes, with the Germans having fallen to third in the Constructors’ Championship, after winning the trophy every year from 2014-2021.

The side failed to design a good concept for the new aerodynamic regulations, which cost them valuable development time as they had to overcome several issues.

Porpoising was the biggest of the lot, with the team having spent almost half a season trying to eradicate it, something they eventually did.

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The Brackley-based outfit claimed just one win and one pole position in 2022, both of which were thanks to George Russell, who claimed fourth in the Drivers’ Championship.

Lewis Hamilton struggled to adjust to the W13 ‘diva’ last season and will likely be pleased to hear that the W14 is “very different underneath”.

Wolff revealed that the W14 interestingly looks the same as the woeful W13, but that it certainly isn’t the same as their 2022 challenger.

“It’s full of surprises,” Wolff told reporters.

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“The last time I saw it I thought ‘oh this looks the same [as the W13]’ but here’s hoping it’s not the same.

“I’m pretty much like you, I go into the wind tunnel and it looks like this year’s car but they say to me it’s very different underneath.

“It’s about the airflow, it’s about the weight distribution, it’s about the aero map.

“Our car fundamentally changed mid-year. We changed the concept but we couldn’t see anything on the bodywork.”

Mercedes are hopeful that they’ll be on the front foot from the start of the campaign, something which will hopefully see them amongst Red Bull and Ferrari at the front.

Wolff admitted that the Germans found endless issues with the W13, with each “layer of the onion” resulting in “more issues and more problems”.

Going into the new season, though, the outfit understand why the W13 was so bad, something that will only increase their chances looking ahead to 2023.

“I think we have a much better understanding of what the problems were,” he explained.

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“We’ve been peeling only a layer of the onion, layers of discovering more issues and more problems, but I think we’ve come to the point that we understand pretty well why the car is not performing.

“The correlation at least is there for some tracks so it’s all in the fine detail of how can we make the car work out aerodynamically, how can we improve the ride and make it more fun?

“I think if we’re able to solve that over the winter, at least we can provide a stable platform to the drivers and we can develop it from there.”