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Mercedes and Wolff Two Years of Despair and No Success

Mercedes and Wolff: Two Years of Despair and No Success

30/03/2024

After two years of continuous struggle, Mercedes and Toto Wolff confront a relentless cycle of despair, with success remaining elusive.

Despite extensive design changes, Mercedes F1 struggles with the latest F1 technical regulations, as confirmed by Toto Wolff.

The team abandoned its previous concept shortly after launching its 2023 car and produced the extensively revised W15 for this year. However, after the first three races, they find themselves fourth in the championship standings.

Wolff stated that the team’s cars have not lived up to the predictions made by their simulations under the current rules.

“I think we lost our way at the start of 2022 because all our tools and systems were giving us cars that won championships every year.”

“Then, the new regulations focused heavily on ground effect for performance, and we released a car that showed all the promise in the data and in the wind tunnel, but it didn’t hold up on track.”

“Since then, we’ve changed everything: the design, the suspension, the driver’s position, the gearbox. But it seems that the fundamental issue is that, at its core, we haven’t resolved this problem.”

Last year’s Mercedes W14 failed to win a race, and the W13 only managed a single victory in 2022.

Wolff admits that the W15 represented only a slight improvement over its two predecessors.

“It’s been somewhat the same for two years. I think this one is the least bad, the best of the worst.”

“It’s a better platform to work from, but it’s still not a car that a driver feels truly confident in attacking a corner at 300 km/h.”

The car appears to be particularly sensitive to temperature changes. Lewis Hamilton was pleased with its balance during the last practice at Albert Park, only to fail to reach Q3 a few hours later.

“After FP3… he said it was the best car in three years. He had so much rear downforce and felt confident.”

“We didn’t change the car much. The track temperature changed by five degrees, believe it or not, but it’s nothing, and the car went from being the best in three years to something undrivable.”

“We’re looking at everything, and there’s something our technology isn’t showing us because this performance window is so narrow, whether the aero works or not. The wind picked up in the afternoon, it plays a part, but we really couldn’t pinpoint its impact.”

Mercedes and Wolff: Two Years of Despair and No Success. Mercedes and Wolff: Two Years of Despair and No Success

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