Mercedes W15 breakthrough as ‘clear direction’ found and ‘developments in pipeline’

Jamie Woodhouse
Mercedes racer George Russell in the Miami pit lane.

Mercedes racer George Russell.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff is optimistic after a “clear performance gain” was achieved at Imola, with further fixes and a clear path to follow providing potential light at the end of the tunnel.

After McLaren introduced their upgraded MCL38 to huge effect in Miami, where Lando Norris claimed a first career win, Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes all responded with upgrade packages of their own for Imola.

Toto Wolff hails Mercedes W15 development breakthrough

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

And while Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari had the edge over Mercedes at Imola, Wolff confirmed that his team had mirrored that trio in taking a step forward, with further upgrades now in the works that they hope will propel them into that fight.

“The small step forward we took in Imola was encouraging,” said Wolff.

“The team has worked incredibly hard to bring our recent updates to the track, and it was a clear performance gain.

“That being said, others have improved too. We are still a step behind the front three teams therefore, and there is plenty of work still to do.

“Nevertheless, we have a clear direction and developments in the pipeline. We have a more solid platform to build on now and we are confident that, in time, we can get ourselves into the pack ahead.

“That work continues this weekend in Monaco. It is a unique circuit and a fantastic challenge for the team and drivers. It is always hard to predict expected performance, but we will look to execute a clean weekend and maximise the car we have.”

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Speaking to media including PlanetF1.com’s Thomas Maher in Imola, Wolff would explain what he means exactly when he talks about Mercedes needing that platform to build from, with the increased confidence now coming from the fact that in past “false dawns”, they were missing something “fundamental”.

“I think a stable platform is a car where you know which development direction you need to take, where you think you’re going to gain the best performance and that has been the zigzagging over those last few years and there have been these false dawns, absolutely,” said Wolff.

“But I think there is a fundamental thing that we haven’t spotted when we should have, that’s why there’s more confidence at the moment.

“But now having said that, nothing in this sport is for granted. We are where we are. It’s just not good enough. You can see it in my voice, I am angry. And just got to do a better job.”

Mercedes last won around the iconic Monte Carlo circuit in 2019.

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