February 27, 2024

Maxsports

All Sports To The Max

Toto Wolff reveals Mercedes will make ‘fundamental design changes’ to next season’s car

Toto Wolff reveals Mercedes will make ‘fundamental design changes’ to next season’s car… as team principal hopes to make Lewis Hamilton and George Russell title contenders in 2024

  • Hamilton and Russell are a long way off Max Verstappen in this year’s standings 
  • Mercedes hope to be challenging the Dutchman for wins later in the season 
  • Wolff though has revealed Mercedes will make big changes for their 2024 car 

Toto Wolff has revealed that Mercedes will make ‘fundamental’ changes to their 2024 car to enable Lewis Hamilton and George Russell to challenge for next season’s title.

Red Bull have dominated the 2023 season, with Mercedes’ closest challenger, Hamilton, a massive 93 points behind Verstappen after only eight races.

They have shown improvement in recent races, with podium finishes in recent races in Spain and Canada – after introducing a major upgrade to their W14 challenger in Monaco last month.

The sport’s yearly cost cap of £105.6m gives teams less funding to spend on large developments, but Wolff insists Mercedes will have the flexibility to make big changes to next season’s challenger. 

As per Sky Sports, Wolff said: ‘We have set up a huge organisation in our financial department of 46 people, that monitors the cost cap down to the last screw.

Toto Wolff has revealed Mercedes will make 'fundamental' changes to next season's car

Toto Wolff has revealed Mercedes will make ‘fundamental’ changes to next season’s car

Despite improvements since a recent upgrade package, they remain a long way off Red Bull

Despite improvements since a recent upgrade package, they remain a long way off Red Bull

Wolff hopes to provide drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell a title contender next year

‘We look at that trend of our spend during all of the year and what we’ve done is basically allocate resource to various projects.

‘We’ve stayed below that line all year last year, and we’re still below that line this year and that is considering a normal development switch for next year. This is still pretty much on track.

‘The good thing is that we are constantly learning about what the car is doing. There are going to be some fundamental design changes for next year, but it’s not that we’re building stuff. It’s more like what are we simulating?’

Verstappen is on course to win his third consecutive drivers’ title, after his victory in Montreal was his sixth out of the opening eight races this season.

Hamilton finished 14 seconds behind the Dutchman in third, behind Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso. While George Russell was on course to finish in fourth before a crash into the wall ruined his race and later caused him to retire.

Though more drastic changes will be made to next season’s car, Wolff revealed in Montreal that an upgrade package will be introduced at the British Grand Prix in two weeks time.

Chief technical officer Mike Elliott, said their upgrades introduced at Monaco performed better than predicted in Canada, and that they hope for strong results in the next two races in Austria and Silverstone – tracks which should better suit their car. 

Elliott said in Mercedes’ Canadian Grand Prix debrief video: ‘I think where we have seen the car struggling is more in the low-speed corners and so we start looking at circuits that have got more medium and high-speed content; we think we will do better there.

Max Verstappen is already on course to winning his third title with six wins from eight races

Max Verstappen is already on course to winning his third title with six wins from eight races

‘So, Silverstone will be a good example of that. Austria shouldn’t be too bad for us either. So let’s hope we go well on both of those.’

Mercedes, who dominated the sport from 2014 to 2021, have won just one race since the start of 2022 – Russell’s Brazilian GP win last November. 

Hamilton, who has won a record 103 races over his career, is currently on a 31-race streak without a victory – with his last triumph coming at the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.