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Mercedes focused on own identity, not Aston Martin - Wolff

Mercedes customer Aston Martin have started 2023 stronger, but Toto Wolff is firm the team won't be looking for inspiration to solve their problems.

Toto Wolff says Mercedes must focus on their "own identity" in Formula 1 and not look to customer team Aston Martin for solutions to their slump in competitiveness. The eight-time Constructors' champions will abandon their zero sidepod concept on the W14 in favour of a revised design after it proved the wrong way to go, with Wolff admitting the team basically got things wrong. A comparison for Mercedes has been Aston Martin - whose AMR23 machine features the same rear-end as the W14, with the aerodynamics designed in the Mercedes wind-tunnel. Wolff has previously said they provide a useful benchmark for the team in knowing where they have gone wrong - but believes they shouldn't copy what Aston have done.

Wolff on Aston

"No, we haven't spent enough time on looking where they find performance because it is important that we find our own identity," he explained to media, including RacingNews365. "Which, which we did. And now it's about knowledge. "Maybe now it's only the second step in saying how can we refine our car in order to catch up [to Aston Martin and Red Bull]. "Of course, it means looking closely at these two cars and what they do, how they work, [and finding] what is it that we may be missing."

Mercedes are 'far away'

Speaking before Fernando Alonso's podium was reinstated and George Russell demoted back to fourth, Wolff said the trophy was a bonus, but that the strong performance in the Jeddah race did not mask the problems for the team. "We'd rather take the small golden trophy than none, but as you say the direct competitors are very far away in terms of performance," said Wolff when asked by RacingNews365 about if Mercedes can catch up in the short term. "That's not something that is going to be easy to catch, but we've seen [in the race], that our development is heading in the way we want it to."

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