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Toto Wolff

Wolff offers hope for 2023: We've 'defined a clear direction'

Despite a "difficult" start to 2023 for Mercedes, team boss Toto Wolff is feeling hopeful about what is to come from the car in the next few races on the calendar.

Russell Australia
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Toto Wolff feels confident that Mercedes can benefit from now having a "clear direction" for their car development in 2023.

It has been a tough start to the season for the Silver Arrows, with the squad continuing to experience the issues with their car that blighted them in the previous campaign.

Wolff admits that the fact that these problems carried over from 2022 came as a disappointment to the team.

"It's been difficult so far," Wolff explained in a Mercedes Q&A.

"With the way we developed the car, we were hopeful of sorting out our issues from last year. And we realised we weren't coming out of the blocks where we expected to be.

"Having said that, we don't feel any sense of entitlement. This is the toughest competition in the world, and it wouldn't be such a fantastic challenge, if it was easy."

Wolff: Encouraging signs for car development

Wolff acknowledges that, while Red Bull look to have a significant edge over their competitors, Mercedes have seen signs of progression with the W14, and this is something that he expects to continue in the upcoming races on the calendar.

"Three races into the season, I think we saw that one team is setting the benchmark now," the Austrian said.

"In Australia though, we saw glimpses of performance in our car that encourages us for the next part of the season.

"In terms of car development, it is encouraging to see that within three races, we understand the car much better, we have defined a clear direction where we need to go and I believe we are on the right trajectory.

"We need to consolidate our understanding and hopefully over the next few races we can make another step."

Mercedes have 'deeper development curve' than Red Bull

With ups and downs expected along the way, Wolff hopes that the team can "stay rational" throughout the process.

"It's also important to keep on track and not oscillate too much between exuberance and depression; to stay rational and believe in our trajectory, believe in the capability of the team," he added.

"There will be setbacks but there will also be upgrades and plenty of work that will help us get closer to the front."

Wolff accepts that Mercedes are facing a different development path to that of Red Bull, who currently lead the Constructors' Championship by 58 points from second-placed Aston Martin.

"We understand the knowledge that we need to recover," the Team Principal said.

"We need to have a steeper development curve than Red Bull and fundamentally, we want to compete for race wins. They are setting the benchmark now.

"We trust in the process and in the people, and there will be setbacks. But if the trajectory is up, that's where we want to be heading."

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