Toto Wolff confirms ‘layout’ of Mercedes W14 ‘will change’ at Imola

Sam Cooper
Toto Wolff, Mercedes, showing his serious face. Saudi Arabia March 2023

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff showing his serious face. Saudi Arabia March 2023

Toto Wolff has elaborated a little further on what changes can be expected for the Mercedes car at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

It almost seems like Mercedes’ 2023 season is being split into two parts, pre-Imola and post-Imola as a significant upgrade package is being readied to be installed onto the W14.

That car has so far continued the worrying trend that its predecessor started and although there was an upturn in form in Melbourne, it is still not the level that Mercedes has come to expect following seven years of dominance.

While an upgrade package for Imola has been confirmed, Mercedes have yet to reveal exactly what will be included, merely hinting that the concept of the car will be changed.

Team CEO and principal Wolff has now elaborated a little further, saying that the “layout” of the car will change when F1 heads to Italy for the first of two times this season.

“I don’t want to change the goals yet,” he told the Italian edition of Motorsport.com. “I always want to think that we are here to fight for a world championship, even if it doesn’t seem realistic.

“We are only at the beginning, and I want to keep the team motivated to do the best possible job. There are many innovations in the pipeline, the layout of the car will change at Imola and we will see what this step entails.”

But even after just three races, winning the world championship already seems like a tough ask with Red Bull 58 points ahead of second place Aston Martin.

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The Silverstone team are also a contender and a so far lacklustre Ferrari are also hoping for an improvement in performance following this mini-break in the season.

Wolff was realistic, remarking that the two Red Bull drivers “are far away” and said they had a battle on their hands to contest for P2.

“It’s undeniable that there is a team that is far ahead of all the others,” Wolff said of Red Bull. “Then there’s us, Aston Martin and Ferrari who are very close.

“To be able to play for a world championship again, we know that we have to beat two drivers who at the moment they are far away, but we also have another fight for the role of second place, let’s say that they are two objectives.”