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No 'crystal ball' to predict Mercedes comeback – Wolff

Mercedes presented their 2024 challenger to the world last week, will it be the car to take the fight to Red Bull and end its misery?

To news overview © Mercedes F1

Naturally, Mercedes wants to go full steam ahead with their new car for 2024 – named the W15 – but Team Principal Toto Wolff is keeping a very clear head when it comes to attacking Red Bull in the battle for the Constructors' Championship.

Wolff recognises that Mercedes will need to come a long way in the upcoming season to put up any fight in the standings, which they last won in 2021 before the current aerodynamic regulations were introduced.

Since the current regulations were introduced in 2022, Red Bull have been unstoppable and have shattered record after record, as has three-time World Champion Max Verstappen. A euphoric effort is required by the Silver Arrows to get on level terms with the Milton Keynes-based outfit this year, something Wolff accepts.

The Mercedes boss recognises that his side's chances are very slim given Red Bull's dominance, although the Brackley-based team are feeling good about their chances.

“When you fall, you get back up,” Wolff is quoted as saying by F1.com. “And that is what I have learned most in the last three years: it’s about the ability to recognise the learning when we fail to meet our objectives, and this is the key to long-term success.

“We hate losing, and that drives us. But that does not mean that we can’t enjoy the challenge we have in front of us, working through our problems and what we need to do as a team. That is all part of the development.”

'No miracles' in F1

Given Red Bull's advantage the last two seasons, Wolff knows Mercedes must remain realistic about their chances of defeating the Austrians.

“On one hand, you need to be realistic about the odds of beating a team that is a fair chunk ahead under these regulations, and who got things right over the last two seasons whilst we have not,” said Wolff.

“There are no miracles in the sport. On the other hand, our ambition is strong. It is Red Bull and a very successful car that are the benchmark we are aiming to beat. I do not know when that will happen, we do not have any crystal ball. But we will know soon enough how far ahead they are and the task in front of us," Wolff concluded, referring to this week's pre-season test in Bahrain which gets underway on Wednesday.

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