Toto Wolff warns Lewis Hamilton and George Russell about upcoming season

Mercedes have returned to black for 2023, in a bid to enter the new season at the minimum legal weight.

Despite many expecting Mercedes to return to the front in the forthcoming season, team principal Toto Wolff has highlighted the significance of the side remaining “humble and realistic”, following their woeful 2022 campaign.

Last season wasn’t one to remember for the Silver Arrows, with the Germans having slumped to third in the Constructors’ Championship.

The side claimed just one win and one pole position all year, as they wrestled with the ‘diva’ that was the W13.

Mercedes did eventually get on top of their porpoising issues mid-season, resulting in a strong end to the campaign.

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However, it was too late to do anything about Ferrari or Red Bull, with the Austrians having claimed their first Constructors’ Championship since 2013.

Mercedes have worked tirelessly to ensure that 2022 isn’t replicated, with the W14 set to be the car that the team are hoping will see them return to the front.

Wolff has seen “so much effort” from the Brackley-based team over the off-season to ensure that the side are entering the new campaign on the front foot, with a car capable enough to “fight at the very front”.

“The entire organisation was pushing flat out last year,” Wolff said.

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“When we realised that the car wasn’t where we wanted it to be, we mobilised every reserve we had. That never stopped throughout the season.

“We are now getting ready to start the next season. I see so much effort, motivation, and energy in the organisation to launch a car that will eventually be competitive enough to fight at the very front of the grid.”

Should Mercedes fail to return to the front in 2023, then it’ll likely be one of the biggest talking points of the season, given that it’ll confirm that 2022 wasn’t just a blip in the system.

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The Germans have dominated the turbo-hybrid era, which is arguably why there is so much expectation that they’ll return to the front this season.

“I was contemplating about that word for 15 minutes when we talked about the press release,” Wolff told media, including GPFans, when discussing the word “eventually”.

“Because, on one side, you want to say we will be competitive. On the other side, you need to stay humble and realistic so you could be saying, ‘I hope that we will be competitive’.”