Toto Wolff confirms Mercedes’ worst fears as old car issue returns at 2023 Belgian GP

Mercedes were well-beaten by Ferrari at the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix despite their new upgrades

-

Toto Wolff painted a bleak picture for Mercedes as they enter the summer break on the back of a disappointing 2023 Belgian Grand Prix weekend.

Lewis Hamilton finished fourth and George Russell sixth in the grand prix after the team picked up just three points in the Saturday sprint.

Mercedes were comfortably beaten by Ferrari despite newly upgraded sidepods on the W14, and an old foe was responsible for much of their pain through the weekend.

“I’ve seen the data and spoken to the drivers, the main limiting factor today and yesterday was bouncing,” Wolff told the media. “The car is just bouncing literally on every street and we’ve got to get on top of it.

“Even Blanchimont was a corner that Lewis had to lift, which is an easy flat normally. And you’re bouncing on the straight, you overheat the tires on the braking so that’s a vicious circle and was the main limiting factor this weekend.

“It’s frustrating to check out for the holidays like this. But tomorrow and after tomorrow, we’re going to understand more based on the data.”

Toto Wolff looks on at the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix | Jiri Krenek / Mercedes

It’s now four weeks until Formula 1 returns from the summer break, and teams must shut down their facilities for a fortnight during that time.

Porpoising sideswiped Mercedes in 2022 as they struggled to find a raceable balance for their radical ‘zero sidepods’ car, but they’d seemingly managed to eliminate the problem from the W14.

Did the new upgrades cause the porpoising?

Wolff was coy on the success – or otherwise – of MercedesSpa upgrades. The team took a giant step forward when their development package hit the car in Monaco and they were hoping for a similar, if slightly smaller, improvement in Belgium.

However, McLaren looked faster for most of the weekend before fading in the grand prix while Ferrari had no such dropoff and Charles Leclerc leapfrogged George Russell in the drivers’ championship.

“We’ve got to analyze it, there’s so much hard work going on to deliver that upgrade, you’ve got to take your hat off,” Wolff added. “I think the floor could have been a reason why we’ve been bouncing, but we’re going to see it in the data and maybe there’s something we need to fine-tune.

“Because I still believe that the direction that we’re going now is the right one.”

Where is the next F1 2023 race?

F1 will return from its summer break with the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix from Zandvoort on August 25-27, where championship leader Max Verstappen will be racing on home soil.

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
- Advertisment -

LATEST NEWS

Nick Cassidy in action at the 2024 London E-Prix | Formula E

Formula E 2024 LIVE: London E-Prix Finale – Cassidy leads Evans

0
Welcome to this Total-Motorsport.com Formula E LIVE BLOG for Round 16 from the 2024 London E-Prix! This Sunday, we bring you real-time updates,...
Oscar Piastri in action at the 2024 Hungarian GP | McLaren

Oscar Piastri Takes Debut F1 Victory at Hungarian GP Amid McLaren Drama

0
Oscar Piastri has clinched his first-ever Formula 1 victory at the 2024 Hungarian GP, after a dramatic race filled...
Oscar Piastri of McLaren leads Lando Norris and Max Verstappen into Turn 1 at the start during the 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix – Race Results

0
The 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix race weekend took us through the midpoint of the Formula 1 season, and Oscar Piastri took the chequered flag to...
Sergio Perez during practice ahead of the 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 LIVE: 2024 Hungarian GP – Piastri wins after Norris finally follows team orders

0
Welcome to this Total-Motorsport.com F1 Live Blog for the 2024 Hungarian GP! This Sunday, we bring you real-time updates,...
Lando Norris during practice at the 2024 Hungarian GP | McLaren F1 Team

Lando Norris confident McLaren will win after bagging 2024 Hungarian GP pole

0
Lando Norris is confident McLaren will win the 2024 Hungarian GP, owing to their impressive performance in race simulations...
George Russell in action at the 2024 Hungarian GP | Mercedes

Angry George Russell calls for Mercedes internal review after qualifying disaster

0
An angry George Russell called for a review within Mercedes after poor qualifying execution at the 2024 Hungarian Grand...
Oscar Piastri in the pit garage at the 2024 Austrian GP | McLaren F1 Team

Oscar Piastri hints at Lando Norris battle for 2024 Hungarian GP win

0
Oscar Piastri pointed to the long run down to Turn 1 at the Hungaroring as a potential way to...
Lewis Hamilton in action at the 2024 Hungarian GP | Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton targeting podium at 2024 Hungarian GP

0
Lewis Hamilton is aiming for a podium at the 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix although he concedes McLaren and Red...

Max Verstappen slams Red Bull upgrade: Whole weekend not good enough

0
Max Verstappen ripped into Red Bull’s latest upgrade by declaring the whole weekend has been below his standards after...
Pascal Wehrlein of Porsche and Jaguar driver Mitch Evans during Round 15 at the London E-Prix | Formula E

Formula E title permutations and standings ahead of 2024 London E-Prix season finale

0
Things are hotting up in London as Nick Cassidy claimed pole position for the final race of the season...
- Advertisment -