Toto Wolff says Mercedes “lost many months of development” because of porpoising, so it “will be tremendously difficult to catch up against Ferrari and Red Bull”.
Mercedes has faced many difficulties throughout the 2022 season, as in the first half of the season their car was not good enough to challenge Red Bull and Ferrari.
Team boss Toto Wolff says the difficulties will only make Mercedes more motivated to return to the top.
“I’m sure this difficult year was necessary to re-motivate and re-energise the organization,” the Austrian said.
“This has made us come back down to the ground, made us appreciate how it feels when you win.”
However, Wolff also warns Mercedes has to make sure that they don’t make the same mistakes in 2023.
“We are looking at that and thinking we better be careful because a season has gone by in a heartbeat, and we can’t let that happen after next season and the next one.”
The biggest issue the team had to face in 2023 was the porpoising phenomenon, which plagued their car for a large portion of the season. It was this issue that slowed down Mercedes’ usual development.
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“We are aware of that, the regulations changed and we got it wrong but all the other pillars are still in place.
“I’m a glass half-empty guy and never believe the job we are doing is good enough. I am not sure at all whether we can bounce back to a position where we compete for championships.
“Because you need to acknowledge that the competition is strong but we will do everything in our power, everything to set our objectives high and try to reach them.
“We lost many months of development because we had to solve the porpoising problem before being able to add performance back on to the car because whatever we added in terms of downforce went nowhere, the drivers couldn’t feel it.
“It became even more unpredictable and the bouncing got worse. So considering a six-month delay putting performance on the car will be tremendously difficult to catch up against Ferrari and Red Bull.
“And we have started the 100m sprint 10m behind everyone so we just have to run faster and this organisation has all that’s needed to run faster,” Wolff concluded.