Toto Wolff warns Mercedes fans not to expect ‘miracles’ before Imola upgrades

Sam Cooper
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff. Bahrain February 2023.

Toto Wolff in the paddock at pre-season testing. Bahrain February 2023.

Toto Wolff has encouraged Mercedes fans not to get their hopes up too soon as the team will not bring significant upgrades until Imola.

Pretty much since pre-season testing, there has been a race on in Brackley to bring upgrades to the W14 and pull it back into some kind of contention.

In the opening two grands prix, the Silver Arrows have looked well off the pace and rumours of a heavily upgraded car were confirmed by Wolff.

But, it will be a little while longer before the world sees those upgrades as Wolff warned not to expect any “miracles” before the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on May 21.

“We’re doing good steps, good developments,” Wolff told Sky Sports F1 of the team’s progress. “But you’ve got to run them, confirm them and produce them so I think we’re not looking for an introduction before Imola. We want to do it right also.

“It is going in a good direction, but we suddenly shouldn’t expect a miracle and be on pole by half a second.

“I think it is more about consolidating our position with Aston Martin and Ferrari and that would be a good step.”

Despite the team still not being back to their best, Wolff said the atmosphere within the Mercedes garage was at least calmer in 2023 as they have a much clearer picture of the right path to take. recommends

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“I think we had a bit of a moment where it became so much clearer after the Bahrain race,” Wolff said. “We were trying to make something work which we really weren’t able to unlock and then nowadays the path is clear and it’s not going to be easy and it’s going to take time but we know where we’re heading to.”

While the engineers and mechanics may be more relaxed, there appeared to be some friction brewing between drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell after the former suggested the latter had got lucky with the right setup in Jeddah.

Russell rubbished the idea, claiming it came through good preparation and not luck, and Wolff said both drivers are free to pick whichever setup they would prefer.

“I think the drivers have got to do what they believe is right for their car,” the 51-year-old said. “Everyone is pursuing the setup directions and that changes between Friday and Saturday very often and then you realise that one setup is maybe better than the other one, but it’s not that we’re coming up with [the] setup and they have to run these.”