The German producer endured a troublesome F1 season-opener in Bahrain final weekend, with its W14 proving a lot slower in comparison with rivals than it had anticipated.
The hole to pacesetter Purple Bull is immense and, having been leap-frogged by buyer workforce Aston Martin, Wolff has already conceded the present Mercedes idea isn’t going to be adequate to be developed right into a title winner.
Whereas that factors to a brand new path for 2024 and past, Mercedes nonetheless wants to handle what it will probably obtain this season.
Plenty of work has been dedicated to enhancements to the W14, with a sidepod revamp focused for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola, Wolff has indicated the workforce may have to vary paths utterly.
With value cap limits that means there may be not the luxurious to run parallel programmes of enhancing the W14 and dealing on a brand new B-spec idea for later this marketing campaign, Wolff says the workforce wants to decide on one path.
Requested concerning the difficulties of growing an all-new design below the fee cap, Wolff stated: “This can be very troublesome to catch up such a bonus, however it’s what we’ve to do. We’ve no alternative.
“I’m not certain the finances cap provides you constraints within the place the place we’re, however we do have to determine which path we’re stepping into and put all of the sources behind it. We’re nonetheless growing one automobile. The query is simply which automobile.”
Toto Wolff, Group Principal and CEO, Mercedes-AMG
Photograph by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Photos
With the Imola improve anticipated to deliver solely two or three tenths of a second, Wolff already is aware of that it’s not going to be sufficient to get Mercedes to the entrance of the grid.
This is the reason he’s adamant that daring selections should be made right away slightly than delaying issues any additional.
“We are going to sort out it right away as a result of, if you take a look at the place we had been on the finish of the season, the place it appeared like we caught up lots and it was only a matter of which circuits suited us and which not, it looks like we nearly doubled if not tripled the hole to Purple Bull,” he stated. “That is what we have to take a look at.
“Every part in between – the Ferrari, the Aston – that’s only a sideshow. Having stated that, what Aston Martin was capable of obtain is an effective inspiration as a result of they got here again from two seconds off the tempo to being second quickest workforce. And with us the whole lot is dangerous.
“The one-lap tempo remains to be good however within the race we noticed the implications. To place it bluntly, we’re missing downforce, sliding the tyres and going backwards.”
Wolff stated each Lewis Hamilton and George Russell understood the size of response that Mercedes wanted to make, and the potential there was for short-term sacrifices to be made.
“The drivers are totally conscious,” he stated. “We’re talking about it overtly in the entire workforce. Everyone seems to be conscious, this isn’t a matter of discovering 0.3 seconds and sharpening the automobile up.
“This can be a matter of great efficiency we have to discover to place us again able to struggle for race wins and championships.”