Mercedes came away with a 4-5 finish at the Monaco Grand Prix, featuring Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. The newly-revised W14 boasted conventional sidepods and fresh front suspension, though the drivers still noted issues with the car. Russell was even given a five-second penalty for unsafe track rejoining after making contact with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez at Mirabeau. Despite this, the team’s motorsport boss, Wolff, viewed the W14’s performance in Monaco as progress compared to the W13’s showing during the same race in 2022. Wolff indicated that during the previous year, top qualifier Russell was 0.736 seconds off the pace–an “awful” showing, as Wolff put it.
Wolff believes that progress was made with the new upgrades and saw his team as “in the mix with Aston Martin and with Ferrari.” He acknowledged the car’s limitations but is hopeful that Mercedes would continue to progress through the Spanish Grand Prix weekend with heavy work ethic. Wolff believes that the primary objective in Spain should be to optimise the new car’s set-up. He is optimistic that Mercedes can adapt to this new package and the style of its driving.
For Wolff, understanding how the new car operates, how it needs to be set up, and the way forward for development is the main mission. As for the Barcelona racetrack, Wolff noted that he does not expect Mercedes to surpass Aston Martin and Ferrari there either but will continue to work hard to improve their performance.
Furthermore, Wolff hinted that the car struggled more as the track surface increased in grip during the Monaco Grand Prix. He believes that this won’t be an issue at racetracks that feature more mid- and high-speed corners. He is keen for Mercedes to perform well on such tracks, with the set-up of the car requiring more concentration, dedication, and data collection. Overall, Wolff is positive about his team’s progress and has faith that his team’s high work ethic will keep them fighting for success in the championship.