Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has revealed that the team have lots of 'good things in the pipeline' heading into a 2024 season where they will need to make huge gains if they are to challenge Red Bull.
After a miserable Brazilian GP for the team, Wolff proclaimed that 2023 was their 'worst performance in 13 years', while seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has been disconsolate about his car in recent races.
Now, Wolff has given his overall thoughts on the season, after a successful Abu Dhabi GP.
“I think at the end it was a great end, a fight for P2" he told Sky Sports F1.
"I think that George’s driving was exceptional. I also think that Charles at the end, it was sportsmanlike behaviour not trying to slow down. Two great teams, two great brands that fought until the end.
“I was not stressed. I was stressed once in my life in Formula 1, that was here a few years ago. It was a fight for P2, super positive for us as a team and for many employees that really wanted to be vice-champion but also reminds you that it is P2.
“At the end, we are racers. We’ve got to be happy about that, but also as a racer, you just want more. But today, we won."
Mercedes chasing Red Bull
There have been a number of questions about whether Mercedes can provide Hamilton and Russell with a car capable of challenging for a world championship in 2024, after they both signed new contracts with the team. Wolff has, however, given fans some reason to be positive.
“We have a gap to the leaders. But the two teams in Briggsworth and Brackley are so motivated.
"We have so much good things in the pipeline, so much new things and with all the learning we have, we’re really in a good place to see what’s coming together. We’ve got to take the momentum now from the third place year, P2 in the championship and take that momentum into the factories.
“Let’s be honest, they [Red Bull] have a gap, because they got way out of the block with the new regulations, fact," he continued.
"And in order to catch up, that’s a monumental endeavour. But under a certain stage, hopefully they level off with the development speed and we can catch up.
"It’s not only adding a tenth of downforce, our car is a fundamental problem. It’s instable, the drivers have no confidence in the car and if we can dial that out, then I think we can make a step forward.
“An exceptional season for them. They’ve beaten a lot of records, testimony to a great driver and the engineering team that is Red Bull, top notch.”
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