Toto Wolff’s expectations of Mercedes in the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend are the lowest they’ve been all season, but hopes to use it as a learning experience at least.
The team boss acknowledged that Monaco has not always been the happiest hunting ground for Mercedes in the past, thinking that the cars being like an “elephant” in size in recent years may have played their part in their struggles.
The 2022 car’s dimensions having widened even further though, so Monaco will be an even more challenging proposition for the team this weekend.
Although Mercedes appeared to claw back a chunk of their deficit to Red Bull and Ferrari at last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, Wolff is not expecting miracles for the team in Monte Carlo.
“I wouldn’t say so because we were particularly off the pace in the slow corners in the last sector due to overheating [but] that might be different in Monaco,” Wolff said in Spain, as per GPFans.
🗣 "The size of an elephant"
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“Monaco in the past hasn’t been our most happy place, maybe because the car had the size of an elephant. I’ll be curious to see where we are this weekend.
“We still struggle with warm up a little bit so my expectations for Monaco are lower than on any other circuit.
“I’m not sure I can explain scientifically why that is but it’s going to be another learning point at least to bring us back into the game.”
The sight of Formula 1’s new cars around Monaco is set to be an interesting one, but several drivers including Fernando Alonso have already voiced concerns about how heavy the cars may be at the weekend, as well as their increased width making the circuit even harder to drive than it is already.
Those factors combined with the already difficult prospect of overtaking during the race means that the Circuit de Monte Carlo will be trickier to master than ever – and overtaking chances will be next to none.
“It’s a track where you need to be able to have your cake and eat it, in terms of how you approach each corner,” Hamilton said in a video on Mercedes’ YouTube channel.
“Our cars are bigger than ever before, wider than ever before, the track is the same width that it’s been forever, and we’re faster than ever through Monaco.
“So the percentage chance of overtaking is miniscule, the chances of crashing are massive, so qualifying position is everything.”