Toto Wolff reacts to ‘sub-optimum to say the least’ Mercedes W14 floor reveal

Jamie Woodhouse
Underside of upgraded Mercedes W14 following Lewis Hamilton crash. Monaco, May 2023.

Underside of upgraded Mercedes W14 visible after Lewis Hamilton crash. Monaco, May 2023.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff took a rather light-hearted view on the crane handiwork which showed off the new floor on their W14 in Monaco.

Though the main talking point of Mercedes’ new-look W14 for Monaco has been the sidepods, with their ‘zero-pod’ concept which they stuck with since the start of these ground effect regulations no more, that was certainly not the only area of alteration.+

A new front suspension and floor also feature in the cluster of upgrades made to the W14, with Mercedes deciding to go ahead with the unveiling in Monaco after the original plan to do so at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix fell through with further severe flooding sadly impacting the region.

And Lewis Hamilton would unwillingly treat rivals to a crystal clear look at the underside of that W14, when having crashed out of the final practice session, his stricken Mercedes was hoisted airborne by the crane to give photographers that perfect shot of the floor.

It goes without saying that these images will now be of great interest to the likes of Red Bull, Aston Martin and Ferrari.

Wolff though was taking it in pretty good spirits, joking that the crane operator must have come courtesy of the Cirque du Soleil considering how the W14 hung straight, also pointing out that the option to put the W14 onto a truck for removal was bypassed.

“Well, whoever performed the crane has probably worked for Cirque du Soleil,” said Wolff with a smile, as per Autosport.

“Honestly, that I don’t even comprehend. The car was on the road.

“You could have put it on a truck. You’re showcasing a car to everyone in the world.

“That was sub-optimum for us, to say the least.” recommends

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Clarifying his support for the marshals that were indeed “doing their best”, Wolff did have a further observation relating to Red Bull, with Sergio Perez’s RB19 having required removal when he crashed out of Q1 down at Turn 1.

At that point the Red Bull floor received the same treatment, that the dominant challenger of the F1 2023 pack with the floor potentially holding many secrets, though the fact that car remained flat meant the view was not quite perhaps as all-revealing.

“They are all from Cirque du Solei. Their car hangs straight. Ours was rear down!” Wolff commented.

For Mercedes their Saturday was a little underwhelming, a “not good” qualifying performance as Wolff termed it with Hamilton taking P6 and George Russell P8.

Hamilton will though at least move up one spot on the grid after Charles Leclerc was hit with a three-place grid penalty for impeding Lando Norris in Q3.