Toto Wolff challenges Adrian Newey to fix Mercedes ‘terrifying’ issues

The Red Bull engineering chief is weighing up his options ahead of the 2025 season and Wolff thinks Mercedes may need more than his magic

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Toto Wolff has admitted Mercedes have been left stumped by the issues with their car after the Miami Grand Prix – and reckons that not even Red Bull’s Adrian Newey could resolve their problems.

The W15 has only shown glimpses of its true potential in 2024, with Mercedes desperately trying out different setups to find the correct balance. But with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell both visibly struggling behind the wheel, the Silver Arrows are facing a crucial period to save their season.

Hamilton picked up his best result of the season in Miami by finishing sixth while Russell finished eighth. However, at certain points in the race, the Mercedes looked a great deal slower than their rivals – especially when Hamilton was stuck behind the Haas of Nico Hulkenberg even with DRS.

Wolff was seen in the Mercedes garage with his hands on his head, an image that summed up their issues.

Adrian Newey, the Chief Technical Officer of Red Bull during 2024 Japanese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Adrian Newey, Red Bull’s chief technical officer, is leaving the team in 2025. | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

And when the idea was floated that Newey – who is leaving Red Bull in 2025 – could join Mercedes to turn around their fortunes, Wolff was less optimistic.

“Adrian is an incredible engineer, but at the moment even the greatest magician would probably struggle to solve our problems,โ€ Wolff told the written press after the Miami GP.

Mercedes issues laid bare

It is believed every F1 team has contacted F1 engineering guru Newey about joining their team after ending his 19-year association with Red Bull. While Ferrari look best-placed to secure the 65-year-old’s signature, a move to Mercedes cannot be ruled out after Wolff was seen speaking with Newey in the paddock in Miami.

However, the dream scenario of bringing Newey and Max Verstappen in from Red Bull looks more unlikely than ever after another poor result for the Silver Arrows, with Wolff left hoping for a McLaren-esque revival in the remaining 18 races.

“The situation is terrifying. We must admit that it is very annoying to always have the same problemsโ€ฆ there are no explanations and there are no excuses,โ€ Wolff added. “If Lewis does a lap with a tenth of a difference from the leader, we are third, but then nothing works on the following hot lap.

“That’s what we don’t understand at the moment with the tyres, we can’t get them to go into the correct window. It’s not an excuse, because everyone else understands it better. We continue to work and hope to develop like McLaren did last year.”

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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