Toto Wolff says Mercedes’ 2022 car is now “a toddler”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Toto Wolff gives an update on Mercedes’ 2022 car, and further explains the team’s decision to prioritize its development over their current car.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says the team’s development of the 2022 car is coming along quite nicely.

“It is a toddler, taking its first steps in the wind tunnel, where we can start to estimate where the performance is headed,” Wolff told RTL.

“We will develop into February for the specification that will then be on the track at the start of the season next year.

“Between now and then, in terms of performance, it could be a few seconds [per lap].”

However, although Mercedes decided to focus on the development of their 2022 car over their current one, they will not just write off the 2021 championship.

“There is no golden rule. We stopped development some time ago. The Silverstone upgrade was manufactured and tested two months ago in the wind tunnel.”

Wolff then talked about Mercedes no longer being favourites, and how rule changes between 2020 and 2021 “thwarted” their plan to do only minor development of the W12.

“We knew the past seven years had been extraordinary. It’s a test. We’re the challengers now. We have to work our way up again.

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“Maybe we could have avoided it or we could have assessed it differently, but it is what it is.

“Now we will fight to keep the world championship open for as long as possible and ensure that we are competitive for the next few years.”

This according to Wolff explains why Mercedes has been making some uncharacteristic mistakes this season.

“I think the mistakes we have seen were unusual. It could be that we always had a margin in the past few years.

“The errors were all very different – human errors, where we might have wanted to achieve something that our equipment couldn’t do, or we calculated incorrectly.

“We are of course slower. Last year, we were one second ahead on average in good races – now we’re just behind.

“And if you have a slower car, you have to compensate or sometimes overcompensate. And that’s wrong.

“Because at the end of the day, the driver and the team that gets the most out of their package will win – without them stepping over this line. Otherwise, you will always make these mistakes.

“It’s a lesson. We won’t forget that. Now we’re fighting for the championship,” concluded the Austrian.

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