Toto Wolff has alluded to a possible alignment towards the successful Red Bull car design by suggesting the 2024 Mercedes will be “more conventional” than their current effort.
Mercedes ended 2023 without a win for the first time since 2011 and, during the year, their car transformed massively.
The original design was scrapped for a B-spec layout from Monaco onwards but Wolff has given further details of what to expect when next year’s car rolls out for pre-season testing in Bahrain.
Toto Wolff promises ‘conventional’ but ‘interesting’ W15
At the start of 2022, Mercedes had the most unique concept for their new regulations but they were not alone in different variations.
But over time, the cars have begun to look more similar with Red Bull’s winning design emerging as the blueprint to follow.
Wolff then suggested Mercedes would follow a “conventional” approach with their 2024 design but did say they would have their own “interesting details.”
“I think we were bold and courageous to embark on the road with such a car,” he told PlanetF1.com at the Autosport Awards. “That was a different concept that nobody else had had before and it didn’t work. I think it’s as simple as that. It’s physics and not mystics.
“Next year’s car is going to be more conventional in what you would expect from a Formula 1 car, but there are a few interesting details that we have not seen on other cars yet.”
The awards ceremony was a chance for some to look back on a successful year but those like Wolff were more keen to look ahead.
“Every year that is not easy is part of a learning curve that makes you better afterwards,” the Mercedes boss said.
“I would have wished we would have competed for the World Championship but that wasn’t the case. So we are looking forward to next year.
“All sails are set for 2024. We take the learnings and there is more analysis that we’re doing but it’s about the new car, it’s about the organisation.”
It is that organisation that Wolff must now re-energise with the team going through a barren run that they had not previously experienced since returning to the sport in 2010.
Wolff said this was, however, a situation they were prepared for, even when they were at the top of their game.
“We knew that there will be a time when it’s getting tougher, after eight titles that happened,” the Austrian said.
“The days we lose are the days our competitors regret because we are learning the most and this year has certainly been character building and I hope stones are in place to be more competitive.”