Mercedes upgrades: Toto Wolff on what to expect in Monaco

Henry Valantine
Toto Wolff, Mercedes, showing his serious face. Saudi Arabia March 2023

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff showing his serious face. Saudi Arabia March 2023

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has said the team are not carrying a “sense of entitlement” over the success of their planned upgrades, which will debut at Monaco this weekend.

Mercedes had been working on a significant upgrade package in time for the planned Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola for last weekend, but the cancellation of the race over devastating flooding in the region postponed new parts coming up and down the grid.

But instead of waiting for the next ‘conventional’ circuit to introduce the new parts at Barcelona next weekend, Mercedes have opted to bring their updates with them to the streets of Monaco, in the hope of finding performance as quickly as possible.

With the team having looked to be in World Championship contention for the 2023 season, the beginning of the year fell well short of expectations, and Wolff subsequently ordered significant changes to be made to the W14.

The first indicators of this will be on show in Monaco over the weekend, but the Mercedes team boss said that his main hope for the upgrades was to offer Lewis Hamilton and George Russell more stability behind the wheel as a priority.

He also reiterated this upgrade package will not be a “silver bullet” in terms of making the team fight with Red Bull straight away, but rather it will hopefully be a step in the right direction from their point of view.

“Following the cancellation of the race in Imola, our thoughts are still with the people of the Emilia-Romagna region that have been affected by the terrible flooding,” Wolff said ahead of the Monaco weekend.

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“We have been saddened by the images but inspired by the rescue work of the emergency services and the resilience shown by the communities. We look forward to returning to Imola in happier circumstances next year.

“The revised calendar means that Monaco is now the starting point of the European leg of the season.

“It is a unique event but will still provide an opportunity to learn about the upgrades to W14 – but we also need to be careful not to draw too many conclusions from this one event. We are introducing the first step in a new development direction.

“It won’t be a silver bullet; from my experience, they do not exist in our sport. We hope that it gives the drivers a more stable and predictable platform. Then we can build on that in the weeks and months ahead.

“F1 is tough competition and a meritocracy. We are not where we want to be but there’s no sense of entitlement. It’s just about hard work to get us to the front.”

Mercedes head into the Monaco Grand Prix weekend third in the Constructors’ Championship, six points behind Aston Martin, with Hamilton currently sitting fourth in the Drivers’ standings.