Wolff’s Vision for Mercedes in 2024

Mercedes finds itself in fourth place in the Constructors’ standings, tallying just 34 points across the initial four races of the season.

Toto Wolff, the team principal, holds a pragmatic view regarding their prospects for the rest of 2024, emphasizing a shift in focus towards competing with Ferrari and McLaren rather than Max Verstappen.

He asserts Mercedes’ commitment to the existing regulations, affirming that they won’t be discarded in pursuit of future advantages.

The performance of Mercedes‘ latest ground effects car, now in its third iteration, has been lackluster at the season’s outset. Despite earnest efforts, the team has yet to secure a finish higher than fifth in any race, indicating a challenging start to the campaign.

In contrast, their rivals from the 2023 season, Ferrari and McLaren, have demonstrated notable progress, with Ferrari solidifying its position as the second-best team behind Red Bull after notable improvements over the winter break.

Wolff acknowledges the dominance of Verstappen, who has clinched victory in an impressive 22 out of the last 26 Grands Prix, positioning himself favorably for a fourth consecutive world championship.

However, Wolff remains steadfast in his belief that Mercedes’ primary competition lies with Ferrari and McLaren, presenting a more attainable target for the remainder of the season.

Despite the initial setbacks faced with the current car configuration, Wolff reassures fans and stakeholders alike that Mercedes remains committed to navigating through the challenges and won’t prematurely shift its focus towards the 2026 season.

This stance underscores the team’s determination to address the existing hurdles while remaining competitive within the framework of the current regulations.

“I think you can only look back at how did last season [go] and you can see the fluctuations in performance,” Wolff stated. “Ferrari was not very good but eventually managed to turn it around and the second [best] team in the later stages of the championship.

“The same with McLaren, it was an even bigger swing as they were not getting out of Q1 and were regular podium contenders [by the end]. These swings will still happen but at the moment, we are not able to fight them but it is a realistic target, much more realistic than [catching] Max.

“We are Mercedes and we cannot completely abandon the current regulations and continue to perform on the level that we are at the moment.

“That’s not the ambition of the brand and our partners, so we’ve got to push to form an understanding and eventually when the FIA comes up with some regulations, we, like all the other teams, will start to look at it.”