Wolff downplays radical new Mercedes

Wolff expects no miracles in Monaco for Mercedes as the Austrian boss of Mercedes tries to downplay his team’s chances for the Grand Prix expected to be hit by rain.

Toto Wolff believes that the new parts introduced on the Mercedes at the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend will only bear fruit in a few races despite the radical new car which appears to have reintroduced conventional sidepods into the chassis.


Radical departure from previous Mercedes car

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will be driving an updated Mercedes W14 in Monaco this weekend, with the new parts including a new floor, new sidepods and a new rear suspension. In fact, visually the car is a radical departure from the previous Mercedes W14, sporting visible sidepods, not unlike the original W13 from 2022 winter testing.

Wolff confirms that the new design would have been run at Imola last weekend had it not been for the weather affected Grand Prix being cancelled.

“The revised calendar [after the cancellation of the Emilia Romagna GP] means that Monaco is now the starting point for the European leg of the season.” confirms Wolff.



Not expecting miracles

But for team boss Toto Wolff, no miracles are to be expected on the streets of the Principality, with the Austrian believing that it will almost certainly take a few more races to start seeing tangible improvements in performance.

“It’s a one-off event, but it will still provide an opportunity to learn more about the W14 updates – but we also have to be careful not to draw too many conclusions from this event,” says Toto Wolff.

“We are introducing the first step in a new development direction. It won’t be a quick fix; in my experience it doesn’t exist in our sport.

“We hope it will give the drivers a more stable and predictable platform. Then we can build on that in the weeks and months ahead.”


MORE F1 NEWS: Hamilton to Ferrari update



Bad weather expected at Monaco

Perhaps Wolff is overly downplaying either Hamilton or Russells chances of a surprise victory at Monaco. Current weather predictions say that the race weekend could face heavy rain, which can allow big surprises in terms of a winner. For Wolff, Monaco isn’t somewhere he expects the new car update to have a significant impact, rather the longer term season as a whole.

“F1 is a tough competition and a meritocracy. We are not where we want to be, but there is no sense of entitlement. It’s just hard work to get us to the front.” says the Austrian team boss.


Perhaps he ought to listen to Red Bull’s Helmut Marko who recently admitted that if there’s going to be a Grand Prix that the RB19 car would fail to win at, it would be Monaco.



Marko: Red Bull not favourite in Monaco

With the Monaco race not being held in 2020 due to the pandemic, the last non-Red Bull winner in Monaco was Lewis Hamilton 2019, the Milton Keynes team having won with both its drivers in 2021 (Verstappen) and 2022 (Perez) respectively.

Red Bull admits that Monaco will expose the RB19’s Achilles’ heel:

“We can’t play to our racing strengths in Monaco. Whoever drives in front sets the pace,” explains Dr Helmut Marko in an interview with Motorsport-Magazin.com . All the other advantages of the RB19 also play a subordinate role on the narrow street circuit.


Ferrari sink to an all time low


“Tyre wear will not be decisive” and “There are no straights where our speed advantage comes into play,”

Perhaps an ideal opportunity for Mercedes to gain at least a victory this season?

Ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, the Mercedes team sits third in the constructors’ world championship with 96 points scored so far this year, six behind the Aston Martin team.

READ MORE: Marko blasts Honda as “restrictive”



5 responses to “Wolff downplays radical new Mercedes

  1. Knowing how devious Wolff is, don’t even ask how he managed to build a radically new car within the cost cap. He has his talons into FIA who will suppress information on their overspending. Wolff will yet again get away with cheating as in the past.
    Very cleverly, he is playing down MB’s chances. To hear Wolff crow again, Merce has only to win by hook or crook in Monaco. Then he will drill your ears with arrogant nonsense.

      • I quite agree. It seems strange to me that someone can go through life with such amount of hate in their heart. Hate for someone he has never even met. It appears to be just racist ranting. I suppose I should feel sorry for him, but I don’t.

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