Toto Wolff has taken heart that even Red Bull have had problems this year as Mercedes look to overturn their form in 2024.
Mercedes suffered another weekend to forget in Brazil with an underwhelming sprint race proving to be a glimpse of what was to come on Sunday.
But with two more races in the 2023 season, all eyes are on the 2024 season and Mercedes desperately want to become a competitor once again.
Toto Wolff reassured by ‘fundamentally’ different 2025 approach
Although Lewis Hamilton could still mathematically clinch second in the Drivers’ standings, 2023 is another disappointing year for the Silver Arrows with the team on course for their first winless season since 2011.
What will make matters worse is even the B-spec car they unveiled in Monaco has failed to make them title contenders and Wolff has warned fundamental changes are on their way for the W15.
“This is our route, a fundamentally different car next year,” he said after the race in Sao Paulo. “And today proves that, that confirms that it’s the right thing to do.
“In 13 years, I’ve never felt optimistic or confident. But it’s maybe more my problem and my brain. The glass is always half empty. But what we know is that we’re changing the car completely and we are an outlier.
“We’re an outlier compared to the last eight years where we’ve been in the front and we’ve had the structure and the people to perform at the front.”
But it is not all doom and gloom for Wolff and he has taken comfort that even Red Bull have had their struggles this year.
“When I look at our competitors, even between the cars, even Red Bull, that doesn’t get things wrong often, in Singapore the car was not competitive.
“Aston, within one week from being outside of the points to having a solid podium. McLaren first part of the season, not making it out of Q1 to now sometimes hunting Max [Verstappen]. It is a nasty surprise box for all of us and we got it today as bad as some of the other teams got it.”
But while Sao Paulo and George Russell’s victory gave them false hope last season, Wolff said that is not the case this year.
“At least we know it confirms that the trajectory of changing fundamentally is right.
“Last year, you come out of an Interlagos weekend and you’re absolutely on top, you’re demolishing your competition Saturday and Sunday and that was like ‘are we doing the right thing by continuing with the chassis that we have?’ Now it’s pretty clear.
“This feels horrible for the whole team, I wish we could stop and [begin] the new season and concentrate on a new car.”