Lewis Hamilton refutes Toto Wolff: We’re not throwing Mercedes W14 ‘in the bin’

Thomas Maher
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton at the Japanese Grand Prix.

While Toto Wolff had said this year’s Mercedes will be thrown ‘in the bin’ for 2024, Lewis Hamilton has said there are plenty of positives to carry over.

While this year’s W14 is not yet a race-winner, the car has proven a more adaptable and versatile competitor than last year’s W13, with both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finding it easier to join in the fight for podium finishes.

Mercedes were in the battle for the win in Singapore last weekend, thanks to a canny strategy gamble during a Virtual Safety Car, but ultimately fell short of victory. Speaking after the race, team boss Toto Wolff had been firm in his assertion next year’s Mercedes will be from a blank sheet of paper.

Toto Wolff: Mercedes have answer to questions

With the 2024 car’s development now in full swing as focus has shifted away from ’23, Toto Wolff was asked about the fact Mercedes appear to be getting more and more on top of the W14 after introducing a big concept change at this year’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Despite this, Wolff said that it would still be revolution, not evolution, for next year’s competitor.

“We will throw this one in the bin when it’s really fast and then embark on a new journey,” Wolff told the media after Singapore.

“I think we have encouraging signs from the tunnel of a balanced car that’s going to be more together, and we have answers to our questions.

“So, we are really looking at the results with an encouraging perspective.”

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Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes are not going to bin W14

Asked what he thought about his current car, given that its relative competitiveness has improved throughout the year, Hamilton said that it’s too early to have any optimism for 2024, but said there will be plenty of lessons carried over from W14 to its successor.

“Well, we won’t ever bin the car of course,” he said.

“These cars are still masterpieces, really, even if they’re not. It’s not the fastest car in the world.

But no, 2,000 people have worked so hard to build these things, and they will continue to be a part of our history and our learning curve. There will be bits of it that we try to change, try to hold on to some of the positives because there are always positives, good and bad sides, and so we’re trying to hold on to the positives.

“And with the new direction we have, it’s far too early to say it than to be optimistic about next year’s car because we are just in the process of going into that.

“But I have full faith in the crew that they’re going to take it in the direction that it needs to go. There’s been a lot of learning in these past two years so if we haven’t figured it out by next year then obviously we will just keep working away at it. But I’m hoping that they have.”

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