Akshita Patel

Mercedes Boss Toto Wolff Takes A U-Turn On Upgrade Promises After A Horror Show In Qualifying At Baku

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team ruled the motorsport for the longest time in history. However, as they say, good things do not last for long, as the Silver Arrows met with a cruel fate. After dominating the tracks of F1 for eight long years, Mercedes witnessed a downfall they never in their wildest dreams imagined. Moreover, a team that made it a habit of getting placed at the top of the grid found it difficult to deal with and accept the situation.

Meanwhile, in 2023, Mercedes’ hope of turning the season around met with a reality check as early as the initial test run. The team lacked pace and lagged behind Red Bulls by a considerable margin. However, when the season entered the four-week long break after the conclusion of the Australian Grand Prix, the team principal, Toto Wolff, promised high-end upgrades for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. But, it seems like the team boss failed to deliver on his words.


Mercedes Boss Changes His Stance On W14’s Potential Upgrades

Toto Wolff
Toto Wolff, one of the longest-serving team bosses on the F1 grid (Image: HOCH ZWEI/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)

Ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff promised the team would introduce upgrades to the car in an attempt to close the gap with Red Bull. However, the upgrades did not have the desired effect, with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell qualifying in only fifth and eleventh place, respectively, behind both Red Bull cars. Hence, Toto has been forced to take a U-turn on his promise of upgrades.

In a post-qualifying interview, boss Toto Wolff said that they have certainly made upgrades to the W14. But the team would only introduce those in the Imola during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, which will take place the next month. For now, Mercedes certainly does not intend to fight for a win and will wander around in the middle of the grid. Overall, Wolff’s U-turn on the promised upgrades is a sign of the pressure that Mercedes is under and the realization that the team may not be able to simply buy its way out of trouble. However, the season is still wide open, and the team will be looking for ways to improve and claw back the advantage that Red Bull has gained.

Lewis Hamilton Dejected After A Horror Qualifying Show At Baku

Lewis Hamilton
via Reuters

After securing a podium in the Australian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton hoped for a better weekend in Baku. However, it seems like Mercedes is heading backward. The qualifying session at Baku ended on a disappointing note for the Brackley-based team. They nearly faced an exit in Q2, but the Briton saved the day with a last-minute push. While Lewis came home fifth, his teammate will have to start the main race on Sunday in 11th place.

After the qualifying session, Lewis Hamilton was up for a chat and said the team now could not make any changes to the car. Moreover, it’s the best pace the car has got for this race. Hence, he would try to optimize it to the best of his ability. However, the seven-time champion visibly looked dejected as he expected a few upgrades for the weekend. But, Mercedes team principal took a U-turn and said the upgrades would come into effect in the next coming weeks.