Mercedes Needs To Tackle 'Fundamental' Issue With W15 Says Wolff

Monday, 11 March 2024 at 22:45
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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff analyzed and discussed his team's lack of performance after the second race of the season.
Mercedes went from being the third-fastest team in Bahrain to looking like the fifth-fastest team during the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
George Russell and Lewis Hamilton both struggled throughout the qualifying, where they took P7 and P8, and the race, where they finished in P6 and P9.
We know the qualities of the two Mercedes drivers, so it seems clear they aren't the problem, but the car. The team principal of Silver Arrows, Toto Wolff, told the media after the race:

"There is only so much you can tune here, our simulations point us in a direction, to a set-up range that we can choose, you put the right rear-wing on and I think you gain a few tenths if you get it right or wrong."

Mercedes struggled with the problem where their computer simulations wouldn't match the data they would collect in real-time on track throughout the last two seasons.
At the beginning of the testing in Bahrain, it seemed like the issue was gone, but Wolff admits the same problem persists even in 2024.

"There's not a massive corridor of performance, it is a more fundamental thing [that we are struggling with] as we believe that the speed so should be, we can more the downforce, but we can't find it on the laptop."

"It's been two years that there is something which we need to spot and that will be the thing to unlock. This is a mission we are on and I am 100% certain we are going to unlock that performance. The big factor is that we are lacking in the high-speed [corners] and we are just real weak."

Reports suggest that Mercedes was the second slowest car in the high-speed corners, even slower than Haas or Alpine. The Austrian team principal claims this accounted for all of their losses compared to their rivals.

"There is something which we don't understand because we are quick everywhere else, and when we have a smaller rear-wing, we compensate what we are losing through the corners but it is just in the high-speed we are losing all the lap-time."