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Toto Wolff and Christian Horner at the Italian Grand Prix (Image credit: XPB/Alamy Live News.)

Wolff warns Mercedes are ‘giving it everything’ in 2023

Toto Wolff has been firing off warnings to the F1 paddock ahead of the new Formula 1 season

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Mercedes Formula 1 team boss Toto Wolff has issued a warning to his rivals ahead of the 2023 F1 season, stating no one should be writing off the eight-time constructors’ champions, despite their struggles last season.

AUTO-PRIX-F1-BRA-RACE Mercedes' British driver George Russell is chased by his teammate British driver Lewis Hamilton during the start of the Formula One Brazil Grand Prix at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace racetrack, also known as Interlagos, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on November 13, 2022.
George Russell clinched fourth place in the drivers’ standings after outshining teammate Lewis Hamilton (Getty Images)

Mercedes had an extremely poor start to the season by their standards at the start of the 2022 season. They found themselves as one of many teams which suffered from porpoising, an aerodynamic phenomenon that causes the car to bounce up and down, leading to poor performance on the track.

Although it was a season to forget for most of those at the Silver Arrows, bar George Russell, Mercedes’ consistency to rack up points despite having an uncompetitive car, saw them hunt down Ferrari right into the final race.

“Do not write us off,” Wolff told the Times. “In this life, you never stop giving it everything.”

Wolff also admitted that the team “got the physics wrong” and explained how they had misinterpreted some of the regulations.

“It’s no myth,” Wolff said.

“We misinterpreted some of the regulations. We put too much emphasis on seeking performance in a car that was supposed to run on the ground, very low.

“But you can’t run it so low, because [the floor of the car] was hitting the ground. So we had to lift it up, which changed things again. It sounds like a trivial explanation, but this is the reality.”

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Final Practice ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 19: Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff talks in a press conference during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 19, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Toto Wolff explains how he is simply an observer in pre-season testing (Getty Images)
Shifting blame?

The 51-year-old also broke down his role in pre-season admitting that despite being CEO and co-owner, he is an ‘observer’ at this stage of the season.

“We’ve been lucky to win eight Constructors’ titles in a row, which is unprecedented,” Wolff said.

“And that is due to the fact that we empower the staff here. If I started to meddle in technical decisions after such a winning streak that would be odd.”

“So at that stage, I am in observer mode. I try to guide from a human perspective. Is there anything we need in additional resources?

“Having said that, I am responsible as the CEO and co-owner. And we, as a team, got it wrong.”

After such a dramatic and poor start for Mercedes last season, all eyes will be on the Silver Arrows for pre-season testing. George Russell managed to outshine seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton in his first campaign in a poor car, will he be able to do the same again?

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