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“This is a Relative Game”: Toto Wolff Believes Ferrari and McLaren’s Rise Making Mercedes Look Worse

Anirban Aly Mandal

“This is a Relative Game”: Toto Wolff Believes Ferrari and McLaren’s Rise Making Mercedes Look Worse

On the back of statistically one of the worst starts to an F1 season by Mercedes, Toto Wolff has argued that the team haven’t really slipped back in terms of performance from last year. Rather, the strides made by the likes of McLaren and Ferrari in 2024 just make the Silver Arrows’ performances poor. quoted the 52-year-old as explaining, “Now those teams [McLaren and Ferrari] have picked up their performance levels. This is a relative game and suddenly, what was good enough for third last year is now [only] good enough for sixth. That’s why it is tough.”

Wolff compared the W15’s performance to last year’s challenger to explain how the team could have easily been podium contenders in 2024 as well. He highlighted McLaren’s early season woes in 2023 and Ferrari’s mistakes, stating that with a similar level of performance, the team were getting podiums this time last year.

However, in 2024, McLaren and Ferrari have upped their game. Ferrari have seemingly eliminated their tire degradation woes, and the MCL38 has taken McLaren closer to Red Bull in terms of pace. In all of this, Mercedes have trundled down to only be good enough for P7 or below in the pecking order.

Despite this, Wolff has admitted that the W15 is not an easy car to drive – much like its predecessors. That being said, the Brackley team are now looking at everything they can do to unlock more potential from their package as the season progresses.

Toto Wolff admits that Lewis Hamilton is not the only one unhappy with Mercedes’ 2024 car

In the past, Lewis Hamilton had been very vocal about how the “ground-effect” Mercedes cars were undrivable. However, as admitted by Wolff himself, now, even George Russell has started expressing his dissatisfaction with how the car’s development and handling on track.

Revealing the #63 driver’s comments after the 2024 Chinese GP qualifying, Wolff said, “The car is as difficult as it has been in the past, tricky for the drivers. George [Russell], when we discussed it [on Saturday], said it was the trickiest qualifying car he has had so far.”

In wet weather conditions, the W15 seemingly found some magic within itself. During the Sprint Shootout, Lewis Hamilton put in a stellar lap to find himself on the front row of the grid. He then converted that into the Silver Arrows’ first podium of 2024 during the Sprint Race afterward.

But one good result, in incomparable circumstances, has not swayed Wolff’s mood. The Austrian still remains adamant that he is not happy with how the team has been performing or how their package has been faring in 2024 so far.

Post Edited By:Aishwary Gaonkar

About the author

Anirban Aly Mandal

Anirban Aly Mandal


Anirban Aly Mandal is an F1 writer at The SportsRush, with over 1000 articles under his belt, Anirban's love for F1 started when he discovered a copy of F1 2014 on his computer. With over half a decade's worth of time spent religiously following the sport, he’s dived deep into the world of motorsports. However, Anirban's expertise goes beyond just writing - he has also written several academic papers focused on the domain of motorsports and the law. His passion for the sport is so immense that he aspires to work as a legal advisor in the most prestigious racing series in the world someday. When it comes to Formula 1, Anirban finds great pleasure in re-watching classic races and idolizes the likes of Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell, and Sebastian Vettel. His top picks include Brazil '91, Silverstone '92, and Germany '19. Outside of the sport, Anirban is an avid sim racer, often found racing on titles like Assetto Corsa, F1 22, and Automobilista. Apart from his interests in gaming, Anirban has a keen interest in philosophy, literature and music.

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