New ‘design guru’ needed at Mercedes? Toto Wolff responds to latest W15 suggestion

Henry Valantine
Toto Wolff, 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Toto Wolff has been team principal and CEO of Mercedes for over a decade.

Toto Wolff said Mercedes are looking at how they can “push” forward, when asked if the team need to hire an engineering or ‘design guru’ to potentially reshuffle their top team.

While the W15 has received compliments from their drivers for how it is as a base to operate, it has not been enough of an improvement to challenge Red Bull or Ferrari in the early races of 2024.

Toto Wolff asked if Mercedes need to hire ‘design guru’

Mercedes already performed a technical reshuffle last season when James Allison was brought back into the Formula 1 fold as the team’s technical director last April.

But it was put to Wolff in a post-race media session in Melbourne about the possibility of Mercedes hiring a potential engineering or ‘design guru’, or to restructure their team further to get the best out of the W15 this season.

With the term ‘design guru’ often used in relation to the highly-successful Adrian Newey at Red Bull, Wolff responded to the question with a knowing laugh, saying: “So, you have the first idea of design guru?”

He then added: “I think you always need to look at ourselves, like I need to look at myself, what is it? Why is it that we can’t get there?

“We’re all humans. You know the answer, data don’t take decisions, humans do. So, we’re not stopping. I’m not sitting here and dwelling, but on the contrary.

“I’m thinking of what else is it that we need to do, and how can we push?” recommends

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Neither Mercedes crossed the line in Australia at the weekend, which marked the first time since the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix that the team came away from a race without any points.

With an engine failure for Lewis Hamilton and a late crash for George Russell, for which Fernando Alonso received a 20-second penalty for ‘potentially dangerous driving’ by the FIA, Wolff admitted the start of this season has felt “brutal” on the team.

“Tough to take, super tough,” he said after the chequered flag.

“And I would be lying if I would say at any moment ‘I feel positive about the situation and optimistic’, but you just need to overcome the negative thoughts and say ‘we will turn this around’. But today, it feels very, very, very brutal.”

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