Toto Wolff warns of major changes at Mercedes if key upgrade package fails

Mercedes are set to introduce a new concept at the 2023 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in the middle of May.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has revealed that the Germans will make “more radical changes” to the W14 should their new concept fail to work at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where the Silver Arrows are set to introduce a large number of updates.

After a woeful start to the 2023 F1 season, Wolff has finally accepted that the Brackley-based team did indeed get the new aerodynamic regulations wrong, with the side now in a race against time to make radical changes to the W14 before it’s too late.

Mercedes are hoping that a new concept will see them close the gap to Red Bull, given that they’ve actually fallen further behind the Austrians this season.

Lewis Hamilton has finished fifth in both races so far this season, whilst Russell claimed seventh in Bahrain and fourth in Saudi Arabia.

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The results have left Mercedes third in the Constructors’ Championship, with the Silver Arrows currently finding themselves 49 points behind Red Bull.

It appears that the target for returning to the front will be 2024, given that only so many changes can be made to the W14 in the cost cap era.

Imola will see Mercedes offer the first glimpse of a new concept, with the side having to battle through this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the end of April and the Miami Grand Prix first of all.

One thing that is for certain is that the Germans are determined to return to the front and challenge for victories, with the initial target being to finally find “the right avenue” in terms of a car concept.

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“So when you speak about the chassis, the question is, do you speak about the monocoque and basically the tub or are we speaking about everything else around?” Wolff said, when asked if Mercedes will make changes to their chassis in 2024.

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“I think the monocoque is one thing, and that’s obviously there are weight implications, COG implications, where does the driver sit, more forward or more rearwards, but I think the biggest gains that we need to find is how can we extract more downforce all around the track.

“These are the areas we are chasing now, and once you come to the conclusion in the next few months, that that was the right avenue, then things are going continue that way.

“If we see that is not enough to actually challenge at the front, then there might be more radical decisions that need to be taken.”