Dark
Light
Mercedes F1 Wolff Challenges

End of Wolff’s Honeymoon at Mercedes F1?

28/04/2024

As Mercedes F1 grapples with performance issues, Damon Hill suggests Toto Wolff’s successful phase might be over, emphasizing the critical need for team improvement.

Damon Hill is convinced that Lewis Hamilton’s departure from Mercedes F1 stems primarily from the team’s poor performances. The 1996 World Champion goes further and explains that, in his view, Mercedes has long benefited from a strong foundation laid by Ross Brawn at the start of the manufacturer’s project.

“I think Hamilton was probably aware of Mercedes’ difficulties from the appearance of the first new car under this regulation, that Mercedes was in complete disarray,” Hill stated.

“Toto had a long honeymoon period, a fantastic era of success with the team he joined, which was pre-formed. Ross Brawn did much of the groundwork. It’s tough now, for him.”

“The real work begins when you make a mistake or when something goes wrong. It’s quite difficult to understand. It’s his job, he’s the boss, he has to figure out what’s wrong and who’s not telling him what’s wrong within the team.”

Karun Chandhok, who was debating with Hill, is skeptical about the problems of the Brackley team: “It’s an interesting position they find themselves in. They still have many strong elements, like James Allison and Andrew Shovlin, the brains of the engineering.”

“They have extraordinary facilities. It’s the first time they’ve realized a profit of 500 million pounds sterling, so the budget is not lacking. Toto needs to understand that if these things aren’t the problem, where is the deficit?”

In China, Hamilton climbed from 18th to 9th place as Chandhok recalls: “I thought he would make it into the points. He took ninth place, which was the best he could do with the car. He made some good overtakes. Overall, he never seemed to have a car capable of overtaking a Ferrari.”

A statistic that does not impress Hill, considering the cars that the Mercedes had to pass: “The problem is that there were some nice maneuvers, but it’s easy to do. This car is much better than the ones it was passing. It’s when you get to the end of the race… George wasn’t able to break away from the middle of the leading pack.”

What worries Chandhok the most is Mercedes’ ability to understand its problems and address them in light of the new regulations set for 2026: “But to be fast in 2026, you need to understand why you are slow today. We are now in the third season.”

“Toto still talks about experimenting, trying to find significant performance gains. They may still not have found a clear answer to where the deficit lies compared to Red Bull, let alone compared to McLaren or Ferrari.”

Mercedes F1 Wolff Challenges

Mercedes F1 Wolff Challenges. Mercedes F1 Wolff Challenges

Next Race
Emilia-Romagna GP
(May 17 - 19)
Session Time
UK
Free Practice 11:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Free Practice 25:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Free Practice 312:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Qualifying 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Race 3:00 PM
Upcoming Events
Date Series Race
19/05F1 Emilia-Romagna GP Italy
26/05F1 Monaco GP Monaco
9/06F1 Canadian GP Canada
23/06F1 Spanish GP Spain
30/06F1 Austrian GP Austria

Subscribe to our newsletter

Go toTop