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Wolff Mercedes 18 More Months of Struggle, 3rd-4th Place Dilemma

Wolff, Mercedes: 18 More Months of Struggle, 3rd-4th Place Dilemma

09/04/2024

Toto Wolff aims to overcome Mercedes F1’s challenges, facing Red Bull’s dominance and Verstappen’s unbeatable form, with hope for victories before 2026’s rules change.

Toto Wolff hopes to avoid another 18 months of “additional suffering” for Mercedes F1, but the team principal admits that their reality is at best second place because Max Verstappen is unbeatable, just like Red Bull.

However, when asked whether Mercedes will have to wait until 2026 and the new regulations to finally challenge Red Bull, Wolff replied that he hopes this won’t be the case because he does not want another 18 months without tasting victory in one race or another.

“If you’re expecting a race for wins and championships, then you could say we’re in no man’s land because Max and Red Bull are far ahead.”

“We are in the pack of chasers, but that’s not satisfying for any team fighting for 2nd, 3rd, or 4th place.”

“If I had to look at things from a purely sporting perspective, it’s 1st place that counts, not 2nd, 3rd, or 4th, but that’s the reality we face right now.”

“We’re trying to make the most of this new reality, that is, to beat our direct competitors, while acknowledging that someone is simply doing a better job and setting a benchmark that we will eventually have to aim for again.”

“Our ambition is to win races this year, and I wouldn’t want to give up on that ambition. And certainly not next year.”

“But in 2026, there’s a major rule reset which certainly offers the most realistic opportunity for any other team to beat Red Bull.”

“But there are almost two full seasons to go before that, and I don’t want to endure much more suffering over the next 18 months. I’m just hoping for highlights and an upward trajectory.”

Wolff places his hopes on… Ferrari to add a bit of suspense in the meantime.

“I think Ferrari can get even closer to Red Bull and take victories from them. And we can get even closer to Ferrari.”

“We’re doing everything we can to offer a better show and challenge them, and we will. But second place is a much more realistic goal for us than being able to follow Max.”

Wolff, Mercedes: 18 More Months of Struggle. Wolff, Mercedes: 18 More Months of Struggle

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