‘You’re confusing yourself even more’: Wolff explains Mercedes’ strategy for upgrades

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff believes significant upgrades at this stage of the season would be counterproductive.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff does not believe that bringing upgrades to the car would be conducive to improved performance at present.

The Silver Arrows have struggled immensely in the early part of 2022 due to the new technical regulations, and the ground effect aerodynamics have been playing havoc with their car on the straights due to “porpoising.”

Attempts to solve the issue have made for a troublesome machine in the corners, leading trackside engineer Andrew Shovlin to concede that there is “a little bit of everything” going wrong with the W13 at present.

READ: Binotto reveals why Ferrari won’t bring any upgrades to Imola

One of the solutions is to bring upgrades to the car and see if they work, but the teams are working on a $140 million budget this season, meaning that they cannot afford to simply trial things that may not work; there has to be a more pragmatic approach.

Further, Wolff affirms that putting new things on the car to try and improve a situation they already have little comprehension of is only going to exacerbate matters.

“I think we’re just learning the car, we’re learning the tyres,” said Wolff.

“Nothing we did this weekend [in Australia] has unlocked the aerodynamic potential or has reduced the bouncing. We’re still at the same place.

“And that’s why it doesn’t make any sense to bring updates, because you’re confusing yourself even more.

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“Maybe it’s the fact the more downforce you bring, the worse the bouncing gets so we are still learning.”

George Russell claimed his first podium of the season in Australia last weekend after a reliability failure for Max Verstappen, but the Brackley side still found themselves a considerable margin adrift of the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari.

He revealed that the eight-time constructors’ champions will be gradually introducing new upgrades, but nothing paramount is on its way just yet.

“Unfortunately there’s nothing substantial in the pipeline anytime soon. It’s not going to happen overnight, it’s going to take a number of races,” he said.

READ: Mercedes reveal Hamilton came close to suffering DNF in Australia

“I think there’ll be little things, there’ll be incremental steps but we recognise that our rivals are going to be doing the same so it may not be clear to the outside world that we’ve made progress because Ferrari and Red Bull are going to be making progress as well.”

Russell sits second in the Drivers’ Championship, 34 points behind Charles Leclerc, who has taken two wins in the opening three rounds of 2022.