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Toto Wolff

Wolff issues Mercedes 'realistic' target after slow 2024 start

Mercedes is fourth in the Constructors' and has just 34 points after four races.

Toto Wolff
To news overview © XPBimages

Toto Wolff believes it is far more realistic for Mercedes to be fighting with Ferrari and McLaren in 2024 than Max Verstappen, as he vowed it would not 'abandon' the current regulations.

Mercedes' third-attempt at a ground effects car has started slowly with the team currently fourth in the standings after the first four races, but has not finished higher than fifth in any race.

2023 rivals Ferrari and McLaren have both made a step forward - with the Scuderia firmly ensconced as second-best behind Red Bull after gains over the winter.

The Austrian feels fighting with both teams is a far more achievable goal in the remainder of the season than with Verstappen, who has won 22 of the last 26 grands prix and is on course for a fourth straight world title.

But despite its struggles with the current breed of car, Wolff vowed that the team would not simply abandon the rules and shift its full focus onto 2026.

"I think you can only look back at how did last season [go] and you can see the fluctuations in performance," Wolff told media including RacingNews365.

"Ferrari was not very good but eventually managed to turn it around and the second [best] team in the later stages of the championship.

"The same with McLaren, it was an even bigger swing as they were not getting out of Q1 and where regular podium contenders [by the end].

"These swings will still happen but at the moment, we are not able to fight them but it is a realistic target, much more realistic than [catching] Max.

"We are Mercedes and we cannot completely abandon the current regulations and continue to perform on the level that we are at the moment.

"That's not the ambition of the brand and our partners, so we've got to push to form an understanding and eventually when the FIA comes up with some regulations, we, like all the other teams, will start to look at it."

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