Wolff Says Mercedes Is Working On Their Technical Issues

Despite being a powerful team, Mercedes are striving to improve their technical performance and address any existing issues.

The pre-season testing for 2023 is almost at an end. The Mercedes team principal and CEO Toto Wolff says he is not surprised to see the performances by Red Bull and Ferrari. He however hinted that “more” is to come from Mercedes.

Carlos Sainz from Ferrari was at the top of his game on Thursday and Friday morning, and Max Verstappen from Red Bull Racing took the lead on Thursday afternoon, making Ferrari and Red Bull take the lead, with three out of the four toppings. 

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, both from Mercedes, were coming along slowly but surely until they faced issues with their hydraulics. Commenting on the other teams' performance, Toto said, “They are fast! No surprise there.” Adding on, and commenting on the gaps between Mercedes and Red Bull/Ferrari, Wolff mentioned, "It’s very difficult to judge at this stage. Everybody’s playing around with fuel loads, and it’s a little bit of hiding on engine modes, so you can’t really judge we’re still hiding a little bit.”

Mercedes are quite hopeful for the future following their new release of the W14. “It’s a feeling of excitement because we got it wrong last year, we finished third in the constructors’ standings, and we definitely want to fight for a World Championship that’s the aim, but you need to stay humble also,” Wolff said. “Obviously mentally it’s always difficult to start with a car that was not on par last year, and hopefully [we] see something that’s better, and this is where the excitement comes from. But, equally, we want to get it right.”

Speaking up on Mercedes' stand on the pecks, Russell said, "It’s difficult to say so far. Definitely a lot of improvements to the car in certain areas. The car is feeling nicer to drive, but at the end of the day, there’s only one thing that matters, and that’s the lap times on the timesheet. It was a pretty smooth test; unfortunately, we had the issue this afternoon, so we lost a lot of running, but I think we’ve uncovered some interesting things in the data that hopefully will find us some more lap time, so you’ve got to take the positives.”

Regarding the hydraulics issue, Russell said, "As for whether Friday’s issue can be easily fixed overnight, he added: “It’s one of those things that happens here and there and can happen to everybody. But it doesn’t cause us major concern for the rest of the test.”