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Toto Wolff

Wolff to 'strike balance' to meet Hamilton Mercedes wish

The performance gains made by McLaren have been a wake-up call for Mercedes, as they look to return to championship-challenging form.

Hamilton Silverstone
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To news overview © XPBimages

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has insisted a balance must be struck between developing this year's W14 challenger and a new car for next season.

Lewis Hamilton has expressed his desire for the Brackley-based outfit to switch its focus to developing a car for next year that can challenge Red Bull, suggesting McLaren's British Grand Prix performance was a "wake-up call".

A major upgrade package was introduced at the Monaco Grand Prix and has paid dividends, though the middle order in F1 has rapidly fluctuated race-to-race as rivals update their own cars.

Addressing development strategies before the British GP, Wolff told media, including RacingNews365.com: "When I asked Niki [Lauda, former Non-Executive Chairman] if we should focus on this year or next year he said 'both'. So there's a lot of learning that we have to do with that car.

"Nevertheless, it's pretty clear that many people will have shifted a large part of their development resource into next year.

"This is something we're balancing at the moment, is there enough that we're bringing onto the car?"

Wolff said Mercedes can't afford to stop development on the W14, as others also take aggressive development routes given how close the field can be behind Red Bull.

"Things are coming onto the car in the next few races and a tenth can make a difference or two. So we really shouldn't take our foot off the throttle."

Sunday: Pretty soon we have no choice to change concept

While the team has made strives to improve their performance, they have started to doubt whether their fundamental car concept is preventing them from making the same giant leaps as McLaren, Ferrari, and Aston Martin.

Changing his tune after the Silverstone weekend, Wolff explained: "I think pretty soon we [will] have no choice [than to switch focus].

"This P2-P3 fundamentally doesn't impact me and the team, it's about coming back and being able to win a world championship in that respect.

That's not going to happen this year, so we need to set our eyes on next year and then see all the races to come to learn, develop, and make sure that we can carry that forward into next year.

"But having said that, the regulations are the same. It's not like you're not learning anything by continuing this car, so it's a balance to strike right."

F1 2023 British Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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