During the last race in Singapore, Mercedes almost clinched victory, thanks to tactical brilliance boosting chances for George Russell and Lewis Hamilton. While the team didn’t win, its performance around the Marina Bay circuit indicated significant progress in the improvement of its 2023 racer following an early-season stumble.
Contrasting with its approach 12 months prior, Mercedes appears upbeat about the evolution of its W13. Back then, they chose to maintain their car concept after a win in Brazil, a decision which failed to pay off.
However, following the W14‘s change of fortunes, team boss Toto Wolff reveals that he is open to a new approach for the next season. This openness derives from the positive feedback Mercedes is garnering for its forthcoming 2024 W15 development.
“We will throw this one in the bin when it’s really fast and then embark on a new journey,” Wolff declared.
Signs from the development process point towards a more balanced car. “We have answers to our questions. So, we are really looking at the results with an encouraging perspective,” stated Wolff.
However, Mercedes has grappled with the W14’s unpredictability, concerning both its weekly performance and handling on the track. In spite of these challenges, Wolff highlights the importance of learning from the W14 in the remaining 2023 season, in the pursuit of at least one win.
“This is still for us a little bit of a surprise box,” he admitted. “Every learning that we have this year is going to be valuable next year – but obviously nobody is working on the current cars anymore.”
According to Wolff, the W14’s fickle nature requires more time for drivers to adapt each race weekend. Larger amounts of sessions assist in mastering its tricky setup.
“Because you [the drivers] don’t know what the car is going to do when you turn in, it’s a matter of gaining confidence over those sessions. And the longer we run, the better we get, the more we can fine tune the tools and that helps,” he explained earlier this month.