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Toto Wolff

Mercedes to 'take a chainsaw' to their car amid lack of pace

Mercedes' Toto Wolff has explained how the team intend to address their car's shortcomings for the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Russell Bahrain
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Toto Wolff has downplayed the potential for Mercedes to struggle even more at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit in Saudi Arabia, after a weekend in Bahrain where the W13 failed to trouble the cars at the top of the speed trap lists.

The Mercedes factory team were consistently towards the bottom of the speed rankings, while the six Mercedes-powered customer cars also had a race amongst themselves at the very tail of the field for most of Sunday's Grand Prix.

With concerns about the power unit's horsepower output remaining gentle mumblings for now, Wolff has already said it's too early to be stressed about their power figures, as he pointed to excess drag on their car being responsible for the slow top speeds.

With Jeddah one of the fastest tracks on the calendar, Wolff thinks there are easy solutions for how to fix their drag issue – cracking a joke in the process.

"It's easy to shed drag off a car because you simply take a chainsaw and cut the rear wing into bits," he told media, including RacingNews365.com, over the Bahrain weekend.

"That's what we will be doing for [the next round of the season at] Jeddah."

No immediate plan for new parts at Mercedes

Wolff went on to explain that there are no plans for Mercedes to introduce new parts in the immediate future, but rather work will be ongoing to allow the team to gain a better understanding of their W13, as they attempt to figure out ways to unlock more performance.

"I think, more than bringing parts, it's an understanding how we can unleash the performance that we believe to be in the car, or that we hope to be in the car - that's the better word - before throwing bits at it in terms of performance," he explained.

With Mercedes spending most of their Bahrain race some way behind the quarrelling Red Bulls and Ferraris, Wolff said it had served as a type of test for his team, as they even tried an unusual strategy of fitting the Hard tyres at their first pit stops.

"It was a new situation for all of us because we are in some way in no man's land – between P3/P4 and P6," he said.

"Therefore, you can experiment more, and I think the experiment with the Hard tyres was worth it – it was very different to all the other strategies of the front-runners and, obviously, didn't work out at all, so [it was] more mileage, more laps, more learning."

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