Wolff adamant that there is more in W15


Despite admitting that talk of closing on Red Bull is an illusion, Toto Wolff insists that Mercedes 2024 contender is not another dud.

Experiencing his worst qualifying in Melbourne since 2010, Lewis Hamilton claimed that there is "lots of work needed" to be done on the W15, a claim with which Wolff concurs.

"We have a car that's difficult," admitted the Austrian, "you can be narrowly in and out of the window.

"It's the whole interaction of aerodynamics and mechanical and the tyres," he continued. "It's never a single topic.

"But we are going to just keep our heads down and push through this," he insisted. "I think it's an illusion to go closer to Red Bull in the short term but I still have to believe that there is more in this car."

"I mean, it's three years in a row, similar feeling," said Hamilton after qualifying. "There's these spikes of 'ah, it could be good', like this morning, but then it kind of disappears.

"If we can work out a way of finding that goodness in the car and making it more consistent and holding onto that, then we can be more competitive," he added. "There's lots of work we need to do, but everyone's working as hard as they can.

"Practice felt really good for us," he said of the morning session, "and I was really feeling optimistic going into qualifying. But then, I don't know if it was the wind picking up, the wind picked up quite a bit, same as yesterday, and then the car is just so much more on a knife-edge.

"I haven't done a long run so I don't really know," he replied, when asked about tomorrow, "but the other car has. "Everyone's so fast, so... but it's a new day, we'll still try. I'll give it everything and move forwards."

Asked if he and his teammate were trying different strategies, as was often the case in 2022, the first year of the new regulations which clearly caught Mercedes on the back foot, he said: "In 2022 we weren't splitting. George was doing one thing and I was trying every set-up that there was to try and help the team try and find options and figure out how we can fix it.

"It's pretty much the same, a little bit similar to this year, I'm trying lots of different things but I think this weekend we're much closer."

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Published: 23/03/2024
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