mobile app bar

“Cannot Completely Give Up”: Toto Wolff Reminds Mercedes Of Who They Are In Battle Against Themselves

Shreya Sanjeev

"Cannot Completely Give Up": Toto Wolff Reminds Mercedes Of Who They Are In Battle Against Themselves

Struggling to ascend beyond a dismal P5 this season, Mercedes are tangled in a web of problems. For the third consecutive year, the team is navigating stormy waters, with the W15 producing lackluster performances in the opening races of the season. Sure, Toto Wolff is grappling with many emotions that have varied from delusion to anger, but he refuses to let Mercedes forget who they are- titans.

Despite a substantial design overhaul embodied by the W15, Mercedes is no closer to understanding the intricacies of the ground-effect regulations that have plagued them. According to Wolff, it’s not merely a matter of the car’s outright speed on paper. He contends that, in theory, the car has all the prerequisites to achieve the speed it’s looking for. However, in practice, a conundrum persists, leading Wolff to believe their problems aren’t trivial.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by George Russell (@georgerussell63)

To put it simply, the Woking outfit realized it has more grip in some corners compared to last year, but it’s not making them any quicker. Problems like this have the team scratching their heads. Previously, it was surmised that the downforce simulated by the W15 failed to materialize on the track. But Wolff now emphasizes that the required downforce exists, just without a surge in pace.

“So where is the limitation?” Wolff ponders, quoted by Motorsport Total. Even after shaking things up in Suzuka, things didn’t go great with a P7 and P9 finish to show for their efforts. But Wolff isn’t throwing the towel just yet. He remembers how Ferrari and McLaren dramatically turned things around last year, going from the back of the grid to podium celebrations.

Wolff holds onto that. It gives him hope. “At the moment we are not able to fight with them. But we will. This is certainly a realistic goal.”

Buoyed by the prospect of wins, Wolff is reassured, refusing to settle for where they are. “We are Mercedes. We cannot completely give up the current regulations and continue driving at the level we are currently at.” Complacency is not a word in the Mercedes dictionary.

Mercedes finds a Silver lining

Mercedes’ foray into the Japanese GP weekend yielded a mixed bag of results and revelations. The practice sessions hinted at a potential breakthrough with George Russell hitting P3 in the timesheets and Lewis Hamilton expressing optimism about the car’s performance.

The Suzuka Circuit was the perfect litmus test for the team. Toto Wolff reflected on the weekend- emphasizing the need to delve into why they struggled at the start while showing significant improvement in the second and third stints. “That is the positive that we take from the race. It is live testing now for us. We’ve been on the back foot and now we’ve taken a different direction. And I think this is happening.”

And so, he takes this glimmer of hope to the upcoming race weekend in China. “I think I can’t wait to go racing in Shanghai. We just need to have a better start to the weekend. Some of the proof of concept that we’ve done here, we will be on the car. And then see what we can do in Shanghai.”

Wolff is also confident that “the experiments have worked,” underlining the Mercedes’ clear trajectory, even if the qualifying and race results don’t mirror it.

Mercedes may have faced setbacks in Suzuka, but the weekend also provided valuable insights and progress. As Wolff alluded, with a clear direction established and lessons learned, the team looks ahead with determination and anticipation for the challenges and opportunities awaiting them in Shanghai and beyond.

Post Edited By:Somin Bhattacharjee

About the author

Shreya Sanjeev

Shreya Sanjeev


Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 journalist at the SportsRush. Two years in the field and an ever-growing love for the sport drive her dream to walk around the paddock one day with a mic in hand. A Red Bull fan through and through, her “favorite driver” spot was once held by notable alumni Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, and now, the Dutch Lion himself, Max Verstappen. Apart from F1, she muses in the NBA and cheers on for Steph Curry and his Warriors, while also jumping on the NFL bandwagon.

Read more from Shreya Sanjeev

Share this article