Indeed, Mercedes registered its worst Formula One season in recent history. For the first time in over a decade, the team went winless. While Lewis Hamilton and George Russell secured multiple podiums, none of them came even close to securing a victory owing to Max Verstappen’s invincible pace.
Having said that, Mercedes have a lot to introspect this winter. The unusual car concept, which backfired initially, must be revamped. Meanwhile, ahead of the crucial car development period, team principal Toto Wolff shared insights on the Silver Arrows’ plans for a comeback and how the learning of the lost season will be incorporated into future development.
Mercedes Likely To Have A Traditional Car Setup In 2024, Confirms Toto Wolff!
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team tried to pull off a courageous move by incorporating a zeropod concept into W13 ahead of the 2022 season. The move initially worked against them. Yet the team chose to back the unusual concept into 2023. However, the move turned into an utter disaster in 2023. The team failed to register a single win as Max Verstappen comfortably secured the world championship. Meanwhile, the Brackley-based team barely held onto the P2 spot in the constructors championship. Having said that, heading into the 2024 season, Silver Arrows have apparently learned their lesson. Toto Wolff, the team boss, recently shared insights on the team’s off-season plans during the Autosport Awards.
While speaking to Planet.com, Toto Wolff backed Mercedes’ decision to opt for an unconventional approach with regard to car design. He said the move was courageous but unfortunately didn’t work. They have accepted the mistake, and they are preparing to move on. “Next year’s car is going to be more conventional in what you would expect from a Formula 1 car, but there are a few interesting details that we have not seen on other cars yet,” said Wolff. The Austrian claimed that the Silver Arrows had attained crucial learnings from the lost season and that the leading teams should be wary of their progress. Not only that, Toto admitted that after securing eight titles, the team knew that they would hit a roadblock sometime in the future. But nonetheless, the 2023 season has been a learning curve and an absolute eye-opener for the Brackley-based team.
Toto Wolff And Wife Under Scanner As FIA Opens Compliance Investigation!
Meanwhile, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff landed in hot waters over his martial status with former motorsport driver Susie Wolff. FIA opened up a compliance investigation against the couple over conflict of interest charges. Apparently, the Austrian is being accused of sharing F1’s confidential information with his wife, who happens to be F1’s drivers academy’s managing director.
Amid serious allegations, Mercedes issued a statement and rejected baseless claims. They expressed faith and confidence in the team boss’ integrity. Susie Wolff also hit back and called FIA authorities misogynistic for attacking her over her personal relationship. While Toto is yet to speak up on the issue, FIA continues to receive backlash over its alleged move.