Toto Wolff makes major admission as Mercedes take big W15 gamble

Sam Cooper
Toto Wolff shakes hands with Lewis Hamilton.

2024 will be Lewis Hamilton's final season with Toto Wolff's Mercedes team.

Toto Wolff has admitted Mercedes “could get it wrong” as they plan a total overhaul of their car.

Mercedes went back to the drawing board after the W14 proved to be just as problematic as its predecessor and the team will now spend the winter building an entirely new car for the 2024 season.

But Wolff has admitted that despite the success that has come out of their Brackley base, there is no guarantee they will get it right.

Toto Wolff reveals big changes for W15

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

After two years in the doldrums, Mercedes are hoping the W15 will be the car that propels them back to the front of the grid.

But that is no easy task. Red Bull’s dominance in 2023 meant they could switch focus to 2024 early on and having already had a head start, that is a lot of ground for Mercedes to catch up.

Wolff then says Mercedes will start over when it comes to the design but has warned they could get it wrong.

“We are changing the concept,” he told media, including PlanetF1.com, in Abu Dhabi. “We are completely moving away from how we laid out the chassis, the weight distribution, the airflow.

“I mean, literally, there’s almost every component that’s being changed because only by doing that, I think we have a chance.

“We could get it wrong also. So, between not gaining what we expect, catching up and making a big step and competing in the front, everything is possible.”

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One man who will be hoping they get it right is Lewis Hamilton who felt last season the team did not listen to what he wanted.

“I remember it feeling exactly the same,” he told the BBC. “And that definitely was not a great feeling. I really had high hopes.

“In February, when we do a download of where the car is going, I was a little more apprehensive, because the previous year it was like: ‘The car is amazing, it’s unique, no-one’s going to have anything like it.’ And then we get to the first test…

“So, I was a little bit more cautious when I was listening, and I was like: ‘We will see.’ And then the car had all these problems. I just knew it was going to be a long year.

“I’m sure there were frustrations, because I had asked for certain changes, and they weren’t done.”

“No-one knew exactly what the problem was,” he adds. “No-one knew how to fix it.”

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