Mercedes admits exit plan after Silverstone

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff openly acknowledged his surprise after McLaren’s outstanding performance at the British Grand Prix on Sunday, as he expected Lewis Hamilton and George Russell to surpass the McLaren drivers following a late Safety Car intervention. The latest poor performance has sparked a change in direction for the team as Wolff admits an exit strategy is now in place for Mercedes.

Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri were running on the Hard compound when the Safety Car was deployed due to Kevin Magnussen’s engine failure, placing them in second and fourth positions. Hamilton and Russell, on the faster Soft compound, occupied third and fifth places.


Podium finish at Silverstone denied

Wolff believed that Mercedes had a solid chance of securing a double podium finish at the Silverstone International Circuit, given the tyre advantage. However, McLaren showcased exceptional pace, successfully defending their positions in second and fourth.

As a result, Hamilton and Russell had to settle for third and fifth places, with Wolff admitting that McLaren’s impressive speed through the high-speed corners prevented either Mercedes driver from overtaking them.


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“When the Safety Car was deployed, I was convinced that we would surpass the McLarens and finish with a P2 and P3, or maybe even challenge for the lead,” stated Wolff in his post-race remarks.

“Their performance showed just how strong their car was.”

Wolff added, “We had an opportunity in the first few laps, but both Norris and Piastri raced exceptionally well. With their efficiency and top speed through the high-speed corners and on the straights, there was simply no way to overtake them.”


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Russell admits surprise regarding McLaren

Russell, similarly taken aback by McLaren’s performance, had anticipated himself and Hamilton to finish ahead of Norris and Piastri, considering the tyre advantage they held. He expected a straightforward double podium, only to be surprised by how well McLaren managed their Hard compound tyres.

“I thought it would be clear cut, Lewis and I in P2 and P3 – see you later,” expressed Russell. “I was amazed at how well McLaren’s tyres performed. Perhaps if they had chosen the Soft compound, it wouldn’t have worked as effectively on their car. Likewise, if we had the Hard compound, it probably wouldn’t have worked as well as it did on their car.”

He concluded, “The Medium/Hard strategy was clearly the wrong choice; the Softs were undoubtedly the superior tyre. McLaren had a one-and-a-half to two-tenths advantage over us.”



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Mercedes below expectations at Silverstone

Mercedes still has some “small upgrades” up its sleeve, Wolff announced. But he did not believe that these would “fundamentally change” the car. But McLaren showed what was possible “if you find one or two tenths”.

The historic team had surprised at the home race in Silverstone, Lando Norris not only took second place, but the British driver also wasn’t far behind in terms of pace trailing Verstappen.

Lewis Hamilton raced to third place at the Home of British Motor Racing – but Wolff admitted that he had expected a better result. Looking at past form at the British GP, he said he had assumed Silverstone offered Mercedes the best chance of beating Verstappen. “But that was not the case.”


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Mercedes constrained by budget cap

There are reasons why the Silver Arrows is not making the leaps forward it had hoped for, according to Wolff. Compared to McLaren, for example, Mercedes is “limited by the budget cap and by the relatively short time in the wind tunnel”. McLaren finished the pre-season behind Mercedes and were “in fifth or sixth place” in the middle of the year, Wolff explained.

“They took more wind tunnel time.”

Wind tunnel time is divided among the ten teams. The top teams get less, and the weaker teams more time to develop their cars. This is to equalise the balance of power.


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Mercedes says there’s an exit plan for W14, 2024 is the focus

Post Silverstone, Mercedes now admits that it is more or less giving up on the 2023 Formula 1 season before the summer break. There will be no more focus on the W14 car, rather the limited resources mandated by the budget cap will be aimed at next year fully.

Asked when the Silver Arrows would turn their focus fully to the 2024 car, team boss Toto Wolff said in Silverstone: “I think pretty soon. We don’t have a choice.”

Second or third places didn’t really matter in the Mercedes cosmos, “it’s about coming back and being in a position to win a world championship. That’s not going to happen this year,” the Austrian said.

In the Team World Championship, Mercedes is already more than 200 points behind Red Bull after ten races.  Max Verstappen alone has already collected more points than Lewis Hamilton and George Russell combined.

“So we have to keep our eyes on next year and then, with all the races to come, learn, develop and make sure we take that into next year,”

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9 responses to “Mercedes admits exit plan after Silverstone

  1. How can the likes of Aston Martin, and more recently McLaren find the significant performance benefits that Mercedes are unable to?

    • The engineers and mechanics must be so disgusted with the antics of La Hamilton and the Werewolff that their heart is not in the job. These two worthies will keep on making tall claims race after race only to fall flat on their face. It’s not finished yet. Wait for still more disgrace. The Karma of the sheer wanton vandalism of Silverstone 21 is not fully done. The events of AD 21 are only half the payback.

  2. Ah. Focus on next year… Did La Hamilton not recently say that it must be forbidden for teams to start next years development early?

    • By now, everyone knows that they don’t play by the same rules that they set for the others.
      This unfairness and injustice will continue to rule until the undeserving plastic champ of the hollow knighthood is around. Maybe, just maybe, the Wolff will turn more civilized once the bad influence goes away. Looking forward to Norris acquiring the mantle in MB after Firstappen says ‘enough is enough’!

  3. Oh look, a deliberately misleading headline stokes up the usual rabid mob…. quelle surprise

  4. Combustion engines is old technology why would Mercedes continue to invest in this sport and why hasn’t electric been adopted does it not yet have as high a top speed .

  5. I stopped watching F1 after Hamilton was robbed of his 8th title by the corrupt FIA. They wanted a new champion and they got one. And what an arrogant one he is too. @VIJAY, you’re a keyboard warrior with nothing intelligent or interesting to say, just hate. Bet your mums proud…..

    • What ..everyone easily forgetting wat happened on first lap at the controversial final… Lewis went out of track and not slowed down and joined ahead and not gave back the place…if that is race then wat happened in final laps r also race … Vijay is correctly…karma takes care ….

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