avril 23, 2024

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says he is ‘super excited’ for first race of 2024 F1 season

3 min read

« I believe we’ve taken some proactive steps to close that gap. Is it going to be good enough? I don’t know. But we’re going to see it in testing and then in the first race in Bahrain, » says Mercedes boss Toto Wolff as the team look to bounce back from a disappointing 2023 season

Last Updated: 19/12/23 10:30pm

Toto Wolff is optimistic over Mercedes’ prospects for the 2024 F1 season

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff says he is « super excited » for testing and the opening race of the 2024 Formula 1 season in Bahrain amid optimism over « proactive steps » the team have taken to close the gap to Red Bull.

Mercedes this year endured a first winless campaign since 2011 as Red Bull won all but one of the 22 grands prix, with Max Verstappen romping to a third successive drivers’ title.

In an end of season question and answer session with the team’s fans, Wolff explained what he believes are Mercedes’ biggest challenges going into the new season.

« It’s to set the expectations right because we have a huge mountain to climb, » the Mercedes team principal said. « There’s a team that is so successful and we have a big gap to close.

« At the same time, I believe we’ve taken some proactive steps to close that gap. Is it going to be good enough? I don’t know. But we’re going to see it in testing and then in the first race in Bahrain.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his team are 'aiming for the stars', but admits they must be realistic in their expectations in 2024.

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his team are ‘aiming for the stars’, but admits they must be realistic in their expectations in 2024.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his team are ‘aiming for the stars’, but admits they must be realistic in their expectations in 2024.

« I’m super excited. I’d like to start going now. It’s the stopwatch that’s going to tell us what job we’ve done. »

A mid-season switch away from the design philosophy Mercedes have pursued since new regulations were introduced in 2022 delivered moments of promise and helped the team edge out Ferrari for second in the constructors’ standings.

However, the limiting nature of F1’s budget cap prevented bigger alterations as were likely desired.

With Lewis Hamilton and George Russell both having extended their contracts with the team until the end of 2025, Wolff is confident the learnings of 2023 can contribute to a return to contention.

On the F1 2023 Season Review show, Mercedes technical director James Allison remains optimistic Lewis Hamilton can win a record eighth world title, despite the team struggling in the past two years.

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On the F1 2023 Season Review show, Mercedes technical director James Allison remains optimistic Lewis Hamilton can win a record eighth world title, despite the team struggling in the past two years.

On the F1 2023 Season Review show, Mercedes technical director James Allison remains optimistic Lewis Hamilton can win a record eighth world title, despite the team struggling in the past two years.

« We learnt a lot, » he said. « The races and the seasons that are difficult are the ones where you learn the most.

« And we always say, the days we lose are the days our competitors are going to regret, because we learn the most. I think there’s so many lessons that we learned as an organisation, as humans, but also technically that will be beneficial going forward.

« During the year, we realised that our car was not operating in as stable a manner as we had predicted.

« That is perhaps because we didn’t develop it in the necessary window. It was clear that the interaction between chassis and tyres didn’t work perfectly. So, in that respect, this was the most important learning. »

24 races in 2024! Watch every round of next season live on Sky Sports F1, starting with the Bahrain Grand Prix from February 29-March 2. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – just £21 a month for six months.



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