Toto Wolff promises "very different" Mercedes car will be "full of surprises"

1066     0
Toto Wolff wants a better year for Mercedes in 2023 (Image: PA)
Toto Wolff wants a better year for Mercedes in 2023 (Image: PA)

Toto Wolff dropped a hint that Mercedes might have something up their sleeve this year after a 2022 season to forget.

The Silver Arrows were a long way off the pace last year, with a less competitive car than their main rivals. Wolff and his top lieutenants have since admitted that they got the concept of the W13 wrong from the start, which left them playing catch-up for the rest of the campaign.

Having won the previous eight constructors' titles in a row, Mercedes will expect to get back to winning ways quickly. The 2023 season will be a huge one for the team and could prove defining for what their status might be until the next big regulation change in 2026.

Nobody, including Wolff and the rest of the Mercedes team, will know for sure whether the W14 is more up to scratch until at least February testing in Bahrain. But there will have been hints, considering several months of work has already gone into the car.

Speaking about what fans can expect to see on track, Wolff warned them not to be fooled by its outer appearance as it will be "very different" to the W13 underneath. He told reporters: "It's full of surprises – the last time I saw it I thought: 'Oh, this looks the same [as the W13]' but here's hoping it's not the same.

Sebastian Vettel warns of looming F1 ban and is "very worried about the future" rridqqieqiqerinvSebastian Vettel warns of looming F1 ban and is "very worried about the future"

"I go into the wind tunnel and it looks like this year's car but they say to me it's very different underneath. It's about the airflow, it's about the weight distribution, it's about the aero map. Our car fundamentally changed mid-year. We changed the concept but we couldn't see anything on the bodywork."

Toto Wolff promises "very different" Mercedes car will be "full of surprises"The W13 did not bring the success that Mercedes wanted (Getty Images)

Bringing the W13 closer to competitiveness with the Ferrari and Red Bull cars was, as Wolff put it, like peeling the layers off an onion. That meant it was a painstaking and lengthy process, but one which he hopes will be worth it regarding understanding where things went wrong and what not to do with their 2023 effort.

"I think we have a much better understanding of what the problems were," the Austrian added. "We've been peeling only a layer of the onion, layers of discovering more issues and more problems, but I think we've come to the point that we understand pretty well why the car is not performing.

"The correlation at least is there for some tracks so it's all in the fine detail of how can we make the car work out aerodynamically, how can we improve the ride and make it more fun? I think if we're able to solve that over the winter, at least we can provide a stable platform to the drivers and we can develop it from there."

Daniel Moxon

Print page

Comments:

comments powered by Disqus