Toto Wolff says Mercedes had “a direction, where we know how we can unlock the potential that is within the car”, but “haven’t got the key”.
Mercedes has been facing serious issues with their car since pre-season testing. Although the team has been searching for a solution since then, they still haven’t been able to find it.
“I think we have a direction, where we know how we can unlock the potential that is within the car that would bring us much, much closer,” team boss Toto Wolff said after the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Sprint Qualifying.
“But at the moment, we haven’t got the key.”
The current belief is that Mercedes is planning on introducing updates at the Spanish Grand Prix, mainly aimed at reducing porpoising, which has been plaguing the car from the beginning.
“I think all of the goodness and badness happens mainly on the floor as it stands at the moment,” Wolff continued.
“We have interesting ideas and concepts that we are trying, and that we are exploring, that have to find their way on to the car in the next few races.”
Wolff was then asked if Mercedes is considering abandoning the car concept they have this year, and start anew while designing their 2023 challenger.
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“I would say there is no such thing as the concept being wrong. But is there a part of what we have done that simply doesn’t work with the regulations, and what is it?
“You don’t need to throw away the goodness. You can keep the goodness. But if there are fundamental areas that don’t allow us to unlock the potential that we believe is in the car, then obviously, yeah, you need to cut your losses.”
Asked when this decision could be made, the Austrian replied:
“It is quite defined, because it would mean that you say: ‘okay: where’s the baseline now? Is there a new baseline where we can start upon, where we believe that we can unlock more potential?
“And if we would have thought that, we would have done it five months ago. We believe that this is the development direction that we need to take.
“It’s a quite a tricky exercise to do and to say because before we take such decision, we need to really continue in the science and continue in finding out what it is, because only then can you actually say: “Okay, cut the losses, switch to next year.”
“You can do it if you understand where you got it wrong, and at the moment we simply don’t. Not yet,” Wolff concluded.