Toto Wolff tells Lewis Hamilton and George Russell to ‘run faster’

Lewis Hamilton is set to sign a contract extension over the winter break with Mercedes, as the team look to return to winning ways in 2023.

Mercedes have certainly had a year to forget, as many fan’s favourites for the title at the start of the season limped their way to a third place finish, with a single race win to their name.

George Russell won the Grand Prix at Interlagos, while seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton completed his first winless season of his career.

The Silver Arrows fell significantly behind their rivals in the development race under the new regulations, after the pain caused to their drivers because of the W13’s violent bounced forced the team to focus all their efforts on tackling the porpoising problem.

“We lost many months of development because we simply had to solve the porpoising problem before being able to add performance back onto the car,” explained team principal Toto Wolff.

READ: Daniel Ricciardo reveals why he rejected Mercedes

“Whatever we added in terms of downforce went nowhere. The drivers couldn’t feel it, the car became even more predictable, and the bouncing got worse.

“So consider a six-month delay in putting performance on the car is something that is tremendously difficult to catch up against Ferrari and Red Bull.

“We’ve started a 100-metre sprint 10 metres behind everyone so we just have to run faster, and this organisation has all that’s needed to run faster.”

Red Bull will be hindered by their cost cap breach penalty, which will see the team have ten percent of their wind tunnel testing time for 2023 deducted, while Ferrari will be forced to deal with a change in management following the resignation of Mattia Binotto.

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Wolff has suggested that it is Mercedes’ stability that has led them to recent dominance, and the Austrian also believes that his team are not set for a period in the shadows of their rivals, as they still have the same structure and backing as before, and therefore they can get back to their best with more ease.

READ: ‘Calmer guys’: Ferrari lambasted for sacking Mattia Binotto

The 50-year-old has reassured fans of the Silver Arrows that the development lost while they battled porpoising is not irreversible, claiming that he does not fear any long term effects from the team’s underwhelming 2022.

“I have no such feeling in Formula 1 as fear because it’s too big of an emotion,” said Wolff.

“So not to fear, but we need to be sharp.”