Catching up with Red Bull in Formula 1? Toto Wolff with a gloomy Mercedes forecast but the Austrian does place quite a specific time period on the table before the team will be able to win again in F1. Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton fans had best sit down for this…
While Mercedes has not yet given up its hopes of a successful Formula 1 season, another world championship title is most likely out of reach for the Silver Arrows. Team boss Toto Wolff has now had to admit this once again.
Although the 2023 Formula 1 season is only two races old, Wolff did not want to completely tick off the year in an interview with Autosport.
“But is it realistic to close the gap to the front when we look at the gaps? No, it’s not,” the Austrian admitted that his team will almost certainly lose out in the duel against Red Bull.
Nevertheless, giving up prematurely is out of the question for Wolff and Co. “We want to give it everything we’ve got and see what comes of it,” he said.
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The team boss is hopeful about the race to catch up, which Mercedes already achieved in the 2022 season. Back then, the Silver Arrows were still clearly inferior at the start of the season. Over the course of the year, however, they developed the W13 to such an extent that the car was not only competitive at the end, but even managed to win a race in Brazil, albeit after the fortuitous misstep when Red Bull got their car setup utterly wrong all weekend. But it is true that Mercedes and George Russell were in a prime position to jump at the opportunity when it arose.
“We caught up last year with a car that jumped too much, which overshadowed everything else. But in the end we won a race and got closer. I think that has to be our goal now as well,” described Wolff, who avoided putting the word world championship title in his mouth.
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Wolff explains how soon the team will win again
The big question is how long it will take Mercedes to significantly reduce the gap to Red Bull. Here, Wolff drew a grim scenario.
“It will probably take between six and twelve months, because it also took us that long last year to figure out what was happening with the car,” he said. His solution: “We just have to develop twice as fast.”
"I'll pay the fine if you're late!" 😂
Martin Brundle's Australian Grand Prix grid walk last year was a classic as always 😅 pic.twitter.com/ySH3vy1orf
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) March 27, 2023
One small light on the horizon for the Mercedes team boss is the Red Bull team’s limited testing time. “That will help a little, but not a lot,” Wolff qualified at the same time.
In the end, he said, it will simply be a matter of his team “getting it together and understanding what we need to do to our car. Then our steps will be huge, but we also have to be perfect in the process.”
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