Toto Wolff’s Candid Remarks: The Performance Gap Between Mercedes and Red Bull Revealed

Mercedes assures that any lingering doubts regarding the issues plaguing its W14 Formula 1 car have been effectively addressed, with a firm and definitive “baseline” now firmly established.

This weekend, the Silver Arrows seized the opportunity to unleash their enhanced F1 challenger on a genuine racetrack in Spain, following its initial debut in Monaco.

With Lewis Hamilton poised for a front-row start and displaying remarkable potential, Mercedes had every reason to be optimistic.

However, an unfortunate collision with his teammate George Russell resulted in car damage and affected Hamilton’s subsequent performance.

Despite this setback, Mercedes remains immensely encouraged by the promising glimpses witnessed at Barcelona.

According to team principal Toto Wolff, the team’s progress in terms of performance is noteworthy, but even more significant are the insights gained regarding the areas requiring further enhancements to unlock additional speed.

“I think it’s solid,” he said about the current state of the W14. “I think we should have been right behind Max [Verstappen], and this is what we’ve seen after FP3 where we felt we had something in the bag. And that’s why the disappointment is big because we expected more.  

“But I think it is a new baseline. It is from where we can continue to work with a certain stability, and without needing to question certain parts of the car, whether it’s the bodywork, the floor, or the front suspension. It is now established, and this is what we are taking forward now.” 

Wolff highlighted that Mercedes’ aspirations for advancement were hindered prior to the update due to their lack of understanding regarding the precise factors impeding their progress.

By implementing a downwash solution for the side pods and introducing revised front suspension, Mercedes has successfully gained valuable insights into the specific areas where their car falls short in comparison to Red Bull. This newfound understanding will undoubtedly facilitate their progress moving forward.

“I’m of the belief that this car is now a solid baseline,” he said. “There’s no more talk about changing the regulations, raising the floor edges, and the bouncing is a de facto non-existent topic anymore. That did happen in qualifying, but we know which direction we should have gone. 

“It is from here now we can seek performance, downforce, and all that.  But obviously with the caveat that you can get it very wrong with the tires.  

“That’s why you see these massive swings between team-mates, and swings in performance depending on the ambient and track conditions.” 

Although Toto Wolff expresses optimism regarding the current position of the W14, he candidly acknowledges the existing performance gap between Red Bull and his own team.

During an interview with, Toto Wolff was questioned about how much Mercedes lagged behind the reigning world champion team. Wolff said: “Not to give you an answer, but I simply don’t know. I think Verstappen is just on a different level. It pisses me off to say that, but that is the reality.

“It [F1] is a meritocracy. They have just done the best job and the driver is driving excellent. They are just far away and that is something which only we have in our hands to get under control.”