Toto Wolff reveals Mercedes W15 roadmap after being quizzed on Lewis Hamilton ‘experiments’

Henry Valantine
Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff was asked about the 'experiments' Mercedes might take with the W15, and if they will take place on Lewis Hamilton's car more specifically.

Toto Wolff has admitted Mercedes “probably need to experiment every single race” to get the most out of the W15.

The team has seen its car’s competitiveness change throughout different sessions, with Lewis Hamilton in particular explaining that the inconsistency with the car “really messes with the mind”, after a tough start to his season.

Toto Wolff asked about Mercedes W15 ‘experiments’ moving forward

After struggling at the start of 2022, it was Hamilton who opted to run experimental setups in the first half of the year to try and unlock performance from the troublesome W13, and with the seven-time World Champion now in his final year with the team, the question was put to his team principal if he would take the same approach in 2024.

Speaking to Fox Sports Australia, Wolff was asked if Mercedes would be likely to continue experimenting with the W15, particularly for Hamilton’s car.

He did not specify whether or not one driver would run more experimental changes than another, but did confirm that the Silver Arrows would be likely to run changes throughout race weekends to try and address the issue of their fluctuating pace throughout race weekends.

“I think we are coming to a point now that we probably need to experiment every single race,” Wolff said.

“Not only on Friday, because our performance seems to get worse throughout the weekend.

“We’re good on Friday, then we are good on some of the sessions on Saturday, but the more grip we have, the faster it goes, the more we reach the performance ceiling of the car, and our data shows that it’s not the ceiling.”

Addressing the performance of the W15 more widely, Wolff said he has not lost his belief that there is a strong-performing car within the chassis Mercedes have built this year, and praised the drivers’ influence in the potential turnaround this year.

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Both Hamilton and George Russell have complimented it as being a stronger base for the team in 2024, but results have shown it not to be a match for Red Bull and Ferrari so far, with McLaren having also seemingly been ahead on raw pace on early evidence in the opening rounds.

“I haven’t lost that feeling that there is a good car,” he explained, “because there are sessions in throughout the weekend, and also the last two ones, where we are absolutely right up there in terms of performance, and then we lose it again.

“P3, [we were] within a tenth of everybody else. Quali, 7th, and then race pace was never there this weekend.

“You can see that McLaren and Ferrari, they were going seven, eight tenths quicker on Friday already, and we had no answer to that.

“I think the drivers are super in this whole setup because Lewis is as good as you can be.

“He’s in a situation obviously where, on one side, it’s super frustrating to see that we are not getting it. On the other side, look over the fence [at Ferrari] and it’s pretty good what’s happening there, but that is not his main priority today.

“And George is just a fighter and is digging in, and he knows that’s his place, so we’ve got to sort this out.”

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