Toto Wolff, the mastermind behind Mercedes’ Formula 1 team, is adamant that they must spare no effort in crafting a winning machine for the upcoming 2024 season.
Acknowledging the need for constant evolution, the team made a strategic move by transitioning to a new car concept during the initial races of 2023. Their previous design, flaunting distinctive zero sidepods, fell short in delivering the desired on-track performance.
The current W14 model now bears resemblances to the dominant Red Bull concept, yet Wolff believes that this is only the beginning. To regain their championship-contending prowess, Mercedes must explore uncharted territories and consider various alternative approaches.
The team is eager to seize every opportunity, carefully analyzing concepts from other cars, irrespective of their power or apparent relevance, all while staying true to their own unique operational style.
Wolff’s dedication to continuous improvement is unwavering, and he dismisses the notion of sacrificing the current season to focus solely on the future. Mercedes aims to strike the perfect balance between present competitiveness and long-term development, leaving no stone unturned in their quest for excellence on the Formula 1 circuit.
“We need a lot of changes for 2024 and the direction our team is developing is really quite interesting,” he explained to media, including RacingNews365.
“We see opportunities and we’re not shying away of leaving no stone unturned and looking at every single concept.
“Every single concept that we’ve seen on other cars, whether that’s powerful or not or any use for us without letting ourselves be distracted from the way we operate and analyse.”
When asked if Mercedes would consider sacrificing the present season to focus on the future, Wolff made it clear that he is not willing to give up on any season. He emphasizes the team’s commitment to staying competitive year-round.
Additionally, in Formula 1, teams take advantage of the aerodynamic testing restrictions, which are based on their previous championship standings, regulating their wind tunnel testing and computational fluid dynamic development hours.
“You can see how McLaren has leapfrogged everybody else with an update they didn’t expect to come in that powerful – whatever it was they gained a second out of it,” Wolff added.
“They leapfrogged Aston Martin and Ferrari who were seen as really strong contenders at the beginning of the season, and now they’re nowhere.
“We just need to continue working and chipping away at our understanding and unlocking potential in the car, as Aston Martin did over the winter or McLaren over the season.”