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Mercedes Making Strides Says Wolff

Mercedes Making Strides, Says Wolff

19/05/2024

Toto Wolff believes Mercedes F1 is closing the gap to top teams, moving in the right direction despite current standings.

Mercedes F1 is closing the gap to the top teams and moving in the right direction, according to team principal Toto Wolff after qualifying at Imola.

Reigning world champion Max Verstappen secured his seventh pole position of the season, while George Russell and Lewis Hamilton settled for sixth and eighth places in the improved W15. However, the gaps have significantly narrowed.

The Austrian remains confident that Mercedes can turn things around but acknowledges that the Silver Arrows won’t close their deficit overnight.

“If you look at the gap to our closest competitors, you can see progress.”

“6th and 8th are not the positions we want to be in. We’ve been saying this for a while, but we can see the others’ lead is shrinking. It takes time, and we must be patient; this is the current reality.”

While Russell was close to qualifying ahead of a Ferrari, Hamilton was about eight-tenths slower than Verstappen and nearly three-tenths slower than his teammate.

The seven-time world champion has struggled more than Russell this season to get the best out of the team’s 2024 package.

“We know we have developments underway that will improve the car’s balance. Lewis is struggling a bit more than George with the current W15.”

“Even though our positions aren’t good enough at the moment, we are moving in the right direction. During the race, we’ll focus on optimizing the current package and try to score good points.”

Wolff outlines the next steps for Mercedes F1.

“Add downforce and performance to the car. But I think there’s still more to discover with our new parts. We’re either too hot or too cold with the tires, which affects the situation.”

“But I’d rather the driver say the car is really good and we’re a few tenths off than the opposite. This is what’s happening – we have a W15 that’s becoming more consistent in terms of behavior, and future upgrades will continue in this direction, adding more performance.”

“It’s not easy to find the right direction; we’ve learned this the hard way since 2022. But you have to look at Formula 1 differently these days – it’s so competitive. Two years ago, there were 10 good teams, and with three-tenths, you’d be third or fourth. With three-tenths today, we’re now seventh and eighth.”

“This is what we wanted Formula 1 to be, but when you’re not on the right side of the line, you look bad even though the gaps are getting smaller.”

Mercedes Making Strides, Says Wolff. Mercedes Making Strides, Says Wolff

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