Toto Wolff: “We are not going to write the title off”

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Toto Wolff says he would put the odds of Mercedes winning the constructors’ title at 20% at the moment, but “it’s just the current status quo”.

After the Australian Grand Prix Qualifying, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff was asked about Mercedes’ chances to win the 2022 Constructors’ Championship.

“I think we are on the back foot,” the Austrian said.

“If I look at it from a mathematical standpoint and probability I would say the odds are 20/80, but this is motor racing and in motor racing anything can happen.

“Teams can DNF and if we unlock the potential of the car we are right back in the game. So as a racer I would say it’s probably 40/60 and as a mathematician I would say the odds are worse against us.

“But it’s the third race of the season and we are not going to write the title off, so it’s just the current status quo – we are 0.9s off.”

Wolff went on to explain Mercedes’ struggles with porpoising.

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“You can see many other teams, like Ferrari, still have some bouncing but they have done many other things right that we missed out on or didn’t perform very well with.

“It was the same for Red Bull, their car got quick from one to another in Bahrain testing by bringing the update.

“Our bouncing is worse because we carry it into the corners and the high-speed, so you can see where we lose performance.

“When you look at the overlay in sector one we are very competitive, sector two we are competitive and then in sector three, through Turns 9, 10 and 12 we are losing all our margin – it’s almost like a second through a couple of corners.

“So is curing the bouncing going to miraculously unlock a second within the car? No, for sure not.

“But there are many other little improvements we can make on weight and other things we can optimise and we just need to chip away the small gains while understanding the car.

“I’m optimistic that eventually we will get there, whether it is two races or five… We need to stay humble and my time horizon is not a race weekend or a year, it is more like ten years.

“And I want to look back and have a competitive team and there will be more difficult years and this is one of them.”

Toto adds it’s hard to get on top of the porpoising issues, since it’s impossible to replicate the effect in the wind tunnel or the simulator.

“This car is very difficult to correlate because you can only move the car with a certain frequency in the wind tunnel where it is limited and on track it does something completely different, so this is a new way of analysing aero data and correlation between the simulations and the real world, which needs to be understood.

“We believe we have the tools and the people to understand that, but we haven’t found that yet,” concluded Wolff.

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