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Mercedes’ Toto Wolff: “Our performance in Bahrain wasn’t where we want it to be”

Toto Wolff says the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team are working hard to overcome the shortfalls in their W14 chassis after an underwhelming Bahrain Grand Prix earlier this month.

Lewis Hamilton ended fifth and George Russell seventh at the Bahrain International Circuit, well below their expectations, with Oracle Red Bull Racing, Scuderia Ferrari and the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team all seemingly ahead of them in performance.

Wolff, the Team Principal at Mercedes, has admitted that ‘open and honest discussions’ have taken place since the season opener about the performance of their 2023 challenger, and he insists they will be doing everything they can to improve the car and bring themselves back into contention for race victories.

“Our performance in Bahrain wasn’t where we want it to be,” said Wolff.  “But this is the position we find ourselves in and it is already full steam ahead on the car, understanding it and working to get it in a better place. That’s an exciting challenge for all of us.

“Since Bahrain, we have had open and honest discussions from which we started to plan our fight back. In the short term, leaving no stone unturned in the search for performance. In the longer term, focusing our development to determine how we get to the front.

“I’ve already felt the energy and determination in the factory and know that will continue moving forward.”

Heading into the second round of the season this weekend in Saudi Arabia, Wolff says the team will be looking to learn more about the characteristics and limitations of the W14, but they will be seeking to maximise every opportunity and score every point they possibly can at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

“Anything can happen in motor racing, so we’ll be working in Jeddah to maximise every part of our performance, chasing every point, every position, and every millisecond,” Wolff added.  “That’s one of the huge strengths of our driver line-up with Lewis and George. We are racers and giving everything we’ve got, every time we go on track.

“This weekend in Saudi Arabia we will learn more about W14, its characteristics and its limitations. It provides a very different test to Bahrain, and it will be interesting to see how the car reacts. We are bringing some small developments to the car: they won’t be game changers, but they can start moving us in the right direction.

“And we’ll be pushing as hard as we can to create opportunities, and hopefully will give us a better account of ourselves than in Bahrain.”


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