Wolff warns Mercedes could endure more F1 setbacks in 2024 – Motorsport Week

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has warned the team could encounter more setbacks in the 2024 Formula 1 season, despite being adamant it’s now in the “right direction”.

The German marque has endured an underwhelming beginning to the current season as its revamped car concept has proven to be the basis of an inconsistent W15.

But while it is still waiting to land a podium result with eight races down, Mercedes has taken positives from recent events with the developments it has implemented.

Mercedes introduced new parts in Miami and Imola while George Russell sampled a revised front wing in Monaco that saw him take the team’s second top-five result.

Wolff has reiterated that Mercedes has now understood the balance problem that was plaguing it earlier in the term and is now on the correct path to closing the gap.

“Yeah, I think we were more or less different, but I think we were that close also in qualifying when you look at the gaps… probably much closer in the race,” Wolff said.

“But at the end… I think overall the trajectory is going in the right direction. I think we’ve understood where the balance of the car needs to be.

“We’ve been bringing bits and pieces in order to enhance that and as I said yesterday saw the trajectory going up, but it’s maybe like a shell, right?

“So it’s going to be up and down, better tracks, worse tracks, so we’re absolutely happy with the approach.”

Andrea Kimi Antonelli (ITA) Prema Racing with Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director. 24.05.2024. FIA Formula 2 Championship, Rd 5, Qualifying Day, Monte Carlo, Monaco, Friday.

Although Mercedes languishes a distant fourth in the Constructors’ Championship, Wolff insists the team’s target remains to get in the fight at the sharp end this term.

Asked about Mercedes’ expectations for the remainder of this season, Wolff replied: “So the thing is that you just got to chip away performance by performance.

“McLaren did a sensational step last year from one race to the other. They kept adding performance on a concept that functioned.

“Ferrari has been doing it step by step by step and we did it very well last year. This is where I see ourselves.

You just got to bring us into a position that we can fight with the guys in front and that we can fight for wins, that we can fight for podium.

“And that’s something that we have absolutely as an objective in the short term as well.”

Wolff has disclosed that Mercedes will have more updates to its package at the next round in Canada and when F1 returns back to Europe for the Spanish Grand Prix.

But with Mercedes still searching for an optimal balance between high-speed and low-speed cornering, the Austrian has cautioned that more issues could materialise.

Asked to give an update on his comment that Mercedes’ problems are like not having a big enough duvet, he said: “I think what we’re doing now is probably solving that.

“I don’t think that the duvet is large enough to cover feet and head at that stage. But we’re getting there.

“And Montreal again is a little bit of an outlier for track. We’re going to add something and we’re going to add something for Barcelona.

“So just try to chip away, bearing in mind that could be also setbacks.”

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