Toto Wolff: “We haven’t suddenly taken a stupid pill”

© Sebastian Kawka for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

Toto Wolff says nobody at Mercedes “is shy to say that we have done a bad job”, but they have all the “ingredients” to be competitive in 2023.

After winning eight championships in a row, in 2022 Mercedes has spent the year struggling with its troubled car.

One of the biggest problems the team encountered was the bouncing, which seemed to affect the W13 more than it did its main competition – Red Bull and Ferrari.

During his appearance on F1’s Beyond the Grid podcast, team boss Toto Wolff was asked why Mercedes failed to anticipate the problem, while its main competitors obviously recognized it in time.

“Because we got it wrong. Even the best people can get it wrong,” Wolff said.

“My assumption of why a team would function, that I learned back in the Williams days, is that you have to have the right infrastructure, the financial resource, good drivers, a powerful engine, the right organisation, and enough time to put it all together.

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“These ingredients would make sure that you are competitive. Winning can be something else, and winning a championship is a different thing, but we have all of that.

“We haven’t suddenly taken a stupid pill [and went from] winning the constructors’ championship last December and then in March being nowhere.

“It is very easy – we got the concept wrong. We underestimated the effect when running the car very low and others did a better job.

“Whether they knew the effect from past days or they were simply more focused on this particular area of car behaviour, I don’t know.

“But in the organisation, nobody is shy to say that we have done a bad job here. It is very easy. There is no hiding, there is no seeking for an explanation of how we ended up there.

“All of us are saying that we got this very wrong and others got it very right,” the Austrian concluded.

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