Mercedes still to dial out ‘nasty rear’ from W14
By Ian Parkes
Sunday 28th May, 2023 - 5:54pm
Toto Wolff believes Mercedes has answered a number of questions with regard to its upgrade package over the Monaco Grand Prix weekend although claims the team still has to dial out a “nasty rear” from the W14.
The updates have been one of the major talking points over the past few days in Monte-Carlo, with the car now sporting a new floor, front suspension and sidepods.
Although it has been recognised the streets of the Principality are not the ideal testing ground, enough has been discovered to suggest Mercedes now has a baseline on which to work.
In qualifying for the race, Lewis Hamilton finished 0.360s behind Max Verstappen who conjured an astonishing final sector in the top-10 shoot-out to deny Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso pole position. Wolff declared himself happy with the gap.
“There aren’t any nasty surprises,” said Wolff. “The car felt together, which is important, but it’s still a bit nasty on the rear so that’s something we need to dial out of the car over the next few races.
“But we have a new baseline, and that’s important, to say ‘Okay, this is what we have now’. We’ve taken questions off the table where we weren’t sure about the front suspension, or the extravaganza of our bodywork, so let’s work from here.
“We’re good at grinding away.”
Mercedes pushing for race win
Next weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix at the renowned test venue of Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya is a more ideal circuit for Mercedes to evaluate what has been developed.
Wolff, however, has stated the assessments will continue beyond that.
“Barcelona is not enough,” said Wolff. “We need to collect data, which is why we brought it here to Monaco for further analysis, which we will do in Barcelona, which we will do in Montreal, which is a little bit of an outlier.
“Over the next races, hopefully, we can really increase the performance of the car but it’s not going to suddenly be right there.
“That’s why I’m actually pleased with the time gap we have (around Monaco) at what has always been a mediocre racetrack for us, so that’s okay.”
As to whether he feels Mercedes can win a race this year, he said: “I very much hope that we can get ourselves back to the front and fight.
“There are more variables to that, with the other teams. We just need to aim for it – aim to win, aim to push, aim to race for a championship.”