Mercedes has brought many new upgrades to its car to Monaco – and while it’s far from the perfect track to judge their effectiveness, Toto Wolff is confident his team is now headed in the right direction with the development of the W14.
Next weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix will give the Silver Arrows a much better picture of how their new parts work, and Wolff hopes to bring them closer to the top.
“It’s so difficult because we mixed with Aston Martin and I would say Ferrari. But we really need to be careful, we need to go to Barcelona and collect more data. This is the new basis. I don’t expect us to overtake Aston Martin and Ferrari (there),” he said.
“It’s more about understanding what the car is doing now, how to set it up and we’re really good at grinding.
“Even with the old package, which wasn’t that great or was terrible at the start of the season, we managed to win the race at Interlagos (in 2022) in a dominant fashion, so we’re going to get there.”
Wolff admitted that the late rain had “flattered” his team in Monaco and their pit stop timing was perfectly executed, giving them an advantage over Ferrari on the road. He also admitted that there is still a lot to learn about the performance of their car, given that it has so many new parts.
“I think we were better in FP1 and FP2 than the rest of the weekend (this season), the more the track holds, the less performance we have. We are really learning a lot at the moment because everything is new.
“We just need to collect the data and set the car up well. In the last two and a half, three years we’ve had a really good race car and less so a qualifying car. So Sundays look more positive than qualifying days.”
One of the highlights of the weekend for many fans was when both Hamilton’s W14 and Sergio Perez’s later Red Bull were lifted high above the track as stewards removed them from the track, fully exposing the floor structure that is a key feature of this generation of cars from ground effect – and something fans usually don’t get to see.
Wolff saw the funny side of the situation, calling it an “art installation” and “unreal”, before joking that more people could copy a Mercedes floor than a Red Bull. However, he admitted that while the team has not yet had time to analyze the differences, it will take a closer look at the two projects in the coming weeks.
“I think they had more to lose by showing their floor than ours,” was his final comment.