Seven years of dominance and a solid start to 2021, yet Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff still focuses on what they must do better.
Mercedes’ achievement of seven consecutive Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles is a run which beats all those prior in Formula 1, but this season they have encountered a threat to the streak in the form of Red Bull.
The Austrian-owned outfit came out of the blocks strongly in 2021 as they hunted for their first title since 2013, but Mercedes have held firm to win three of the four opening races via Lewis Hamilton, ensuring the momentum shifted back in their favour.
So while Red Bull are left to realise the mammoth challenge that lies ahead, Mercedes too are continuing to focus on areas of their game that need further reinforcing.
“I seriously mean it – never stand still, recognise the shortcomings and gaps,” said Wolff, quoted by GPFans.
“A debrief will be half an hour, with 25 minutes about things that went wrong over the weekend and what we need to improve. This is very much the mindset of the team over the years.
“Target-setting is extremely important but in a year like this one, the target setting is to meet our own expectations.
“Our own expectations are that we are fighting for a Drivers’ World Championship and Constructors’ World Championship whilst not forgetting there is a huge regulatory change for next year, so you can’t just give up one or the other racing season. That balancing act is quite difficult.”
Should Mercedes withstand the challenge of Red Bull this season, the upcoming redesign of Formula 1 will prove an arguably even greater threat.
The current generation of Formula 1 cars are in their final year of use, to be replaced next season by completely new models with 18-inch tyres as opposed to the current 13-inch specs.
“Next year is a totally different car concept and new tyres, so we lost a lot of downforce, the tyres are unknown and the performance of the tyres,” said Wolff as he explained the changes to come.
“It is a real technical revolution that is happening and that hasn’t been the case for many, many years.”