Wolff says Mercedes have no choice in direction change

The Silver Arrows have resigned themselves to second at best in F1 2023, but they want titles

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Toto Wolff has revealed that Mercedes will soon turn their attention to the 2024 Formula 1 season.

The W14 has had fundamental issues all season that the Mercedes engineers have been unable to fix, leaving them too far from Red Bull to mount any kind of late title challenge.

They could still achieve second in the F1 constructors’ standings, though, with Ferrari and Aston Martin seemingly taking backward steps.

“I think pretty soon,” Wolff told the media when asked at what point does the focus shift to 2024. “We have no choice.

“Whether we are P2 or P3 fundamentally doesn’t impact me and the team because for us it’s about coming back to win a world championship.

“That’s not going to happen this year, so we need to set our eyes on next year and use the races to come to learn and develop so we can make sure we carry that into next year.”

Customer pressure

Mercedes will have assumed Red Bull and Ferrari would be the only challengers this season but things have gone far different to what anyone thought. Aston Martin started the year like a rat up a drainpipe with Fernando Alonso regularly on the podium with his Silver Arrow-powered car.

Another team powered by the German giants is McLaren and while their season started very slowly, the latest raft of upgrades saw Lando Norris claim fourth in Austria and then a stunning second at Silverstone, beating both Mercedes cars, with Oscar Piastri also challenging for a podium but falling short in Britain.

Lewis Hamilton leads the McLaren of Oscar Piastri at the 2023 British Grand Prix | Mercedes F1 Team

Mercedes and Wolff will not like to see the teams they are giving engines to beating them too often but both Aston Martin and McLaren have taken a Red Bull-style approach to their latest machinery, something the Silver Arrows are yet to do fully.

A switch to 2024 might give Mercedes time to develop a Red Bull rival but the runaway leaders will be working on a new design of their own to push the benchmark even further away.

Where is the next F1 2023 race?

With the F1 circus finished at Silverstone, we move on to the 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix which will be held at the Hungaroring, Budapest over the weekend of July 21-23.

Joe Ellis
Joe Ellis
Motorsport journalist, indyCar correspondent and F1 writer for Total-Motorsport.com
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