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Toto Wolff

Wolff confirms major Mercedes shift: 'Can't complain about Verstappen'

Mercedes has failed for two years to challenge Red Bull and Max Verstappen, but Team Principal Toto Wolff confirms the team will change tact for 2024.

Hamilton Brazil
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Mercedes faces the prospect of the 2023 season being its first winless season in Formula 1 in 12 years.

The team has not challenged for a Constructors' Championship since the 2021 season, when it took its eighth title in a row.

When the ground effects regulation switch was introduced in 2022, Mercedes struggled to replicate their success at the start of the hybrid era, with its flawed zero sidepod concept.

F1 is now in a period of dominance for Red Bull and Max Verstappen, with 19 and 17 wins respectively from the 20 races so far this season.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has been firm in his belief of F1 being a meritocracy, and that Red Bull should not be artificially pegged back - putting the onus on Mercedes to strike back.

"We have devoted Mercedes fans out there and it's about us striking back," he explained to CNBC.

"You cannot complain if you're one of the teams that is only second. We've got to come up with a better car with better performance to beat them.

"Obviously it's better for spectators and fans if there is a close race until the end, but it is up to us."

"Glass is always half empty with me"

Question marks over whether Mercedes can mount a challenge to Red Bull loom over 2024, with Lewis Hamilton recently coming out and saying it will be tough to get close before 2026.

Wolff is more optimistic, confirming that they will make radical changes in their pursuit of beating Red Bull.

"Never in my life have I been confident, I'm more of a glass half-empty kind of guy," explained Wolff.

"We are well on track for next year, we have completely changed the concept of the car, because it did not perform as expected in the last two years.

"We have to give it everything, and develop the car as much as possible.

"We must get the drivers in a good frame of mind and then attack next year, and if we have done a good job, we'll see then."

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