Wolff expects Mercedes to be “playing with the guys in front” in 2022

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has “no doubt” that Mercedes “will be playing with the guys in front”, once they “unlock the potential of the car”.

Mercedes has been having numerous issues with their car at the start of the 2022 season. Toto Wolff says one of those issues is that the car is overweight.

“Where we stand is that, if I make a best case, then probably Red Bull [and] ourselves are, from the top 10 cars, the most overweight,” the Austrian said.

“Then there are some who are underweight, or just above it. That’s quite a lap time advantage, or disadvantage, but [we can] be clever about it.

“Some have taken the decision to go live and are benefitting from that at the moment. I think there’s, for us, definitely room to improve, and to chip away some of the bits that we have on the car that are too heavy.”

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When asked if the Formula 1 budget cap is making it harder for the team to solve their issues, Toto Wolff said it’s not a problem.

“In a competition with Red Bull and Ferrari, it has no relevance. We were always in the same league of spending and, in the same way, we are in the same league of spending now.

“There will be diminishing returns over the medium to long-term. The field is going to become even closer in terms of lap time differentiation.

“I’ve no doubt that, when we unlock the potential that’s in the car, we will be playing with the guys in front,” Wolff concluded.

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