Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has revealed that a difficult last season has prompted them to rethink their design methodology. After qualifying sixth and seventh in Bahrain, Mercedes management, drivers and engineers held a meeting to discuss their situation. Wolff revealed that their ability to limit the “porpoising” on their W13 car gave them a false impression of how much progress had been made, leading Wolff to declare that they were “not happy” with the downforce, mechanical balance and other factors. They are now re-evaluating where they need to focus their efforts.
George Russell believes that his win in Brazil in 2022 led their team down the “wrong path”, which was acknowledged by Wolff. The team believed they would eventually surpass their rivals, Red Bull and Ferrari, given their concept, but have been “proven wrong”. Wolff said that their philosophy was misguided by data and CFD simulations, and that the concept was different, therefore not compatible with the competition’s motor cars. He concluded that they can no longer “run in a one-way street”, stating that he and his colleagues did not want to lose more time.