Toto Wolff believes Mercedes answered many questions about the upgrade package at the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, although he says the team still has to go for the “nasty rear end” with the W14.
Updates have been one of the main topics of discussion over the last few days in Monte-Carlo, and the car now has a new floor, front suspension and side panels.
While it was recognized that the streets of the Duchy were not an ideal testing ground, enough had been discovered to suggest that Mercedes now had a baseline to work from.
In qualifying for the race Lewis Hamilton finished 0.360s behind Max Verstappen who conjured up an astonishing final sector in the top 10 on penalties to deny Aston Martin pole position Fernando Alonso. Wolff declared that he was happy with the gap.
“There are no nasty surprises,” said Wolff. “The car felt consistent, which is important, but it’s still a little nasty at the rear, so that’s something we need to change on the car over the next few races.
“But we have a new baseline and it’s important to say, ‘Okay, this is what we have now.’ We took questions off the table where we weren’t sure about the front suspension or the extravagance of our bodywork, so let’s start there.
“We’re good at shredding.”
Mercedes fights for victory in the race
The Spanish Grand Prix, which takes place next weekend at the renowned Circuit de Catalunya test track in Barcelona, is a more ideal track for Mercedes to evaluate what has been developed.
However, Wolff stated that evaluations would continue beyond this period.
“Barcelona is not enough,” said Wolff. “We need to collect data, so we brought it here to Monaco for further analysis, which we will do in Barcelona, what we will do in Montreal, which is a bit of an outlier.
“Hopefully in the next races we can really improve the performance of the car, but it won’t happen all of a sudden.
“So I’m really happy with the time difference we have (around Monaco) at what has always been an average race track for us, so that’s fine.”
As for whether he feels Mercedes can win a race this year, he said: “I really hope we can get back to the front and fight.
“Other teams have more variables. We just have to strive for it – strive to win, strive to push, strive to race for the championship. “
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