The German producer has been working laborious on a essentially completely different automobile for 2024, with it clear that it didn’t hit the targets with its present W14 challenger.
Whereas such a dramatic change of route opens the chance of the staff having to restart on all of the information it has gained over the previous two years, the staff says it’s now satisfied that there is no such thing as a future for the present idea.
The obvious lack of pace at Interlagos, the place Lewis Hamilton slid down the order from beginning third on the restart a yr on from the squad triumphing there, has highlighted that it will have been much more silly to stay with its present automobile.
Requested if the Brazil kind had dented confidence about its understanding of the present rules, staff principal Wolff mentioned: “No, I believe extra confirmed that the steps that we did are needed. So a minimum of we all know it confirms that the trajectory of fixing essentially is true.
“Final yr, we got here out of an Interlagos weekend, the place you are completely demolishing your competitors Saturday and Sunday, and that was like: are we doing the fitting factor by persevering with with the chassis that we now have?
“Now it’s fairly clear. This feels horrible for the entire staff. And I want we might begin the brand new season and focus on the brand new automobile.”
Photograph by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, battles with Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60
The size of Mercedes’ confusion over what was happening in Brazil was highlighted by the truth that the staff thought-about pulling its vehicles out of parc ferme so it might change set-up to one thing that labored higher.
Nonetheless, Wolff mentioned that such a plan was dominated out as a result of the staff didn’t know what it wanted to vary to make issues higher.
“We did not know essentially the place we’d have modified it, as a result of there’s a a lot larger difficulty,” he mentioned. “We thought of that [starting from the pitlane], however when fascinated with maximizing factors, it was in all probability proper to begin like this.”
Mercedes believes it has closed in on what went unsuitable with its present automobile this yr – because it has confessed to having been too conservative and too excessive with its focused ride-height aero platform, which has given away quite a lot of efficiency.
Subsequent yr’s automobile will possible be set to run a lot nearer to the bottom, with the outfit being extra assured that it could keep away from the porpoising issues that hung over its W13 automobile.
However Wolff mentioned he wouldn’t be taking something with no consideration about what Mercedes would ship subsequent yr.
“For 13 years I’ve by no means felt optimistic or assured,” he mentioned. “It is perhaps extra my downside and my mind: the glass is at all times half empty.
“However what we all know is that we’re altering the automobile utterly and we’re an outlier in comparison with the final eight years, the place we have been within the entrance, stable, and with the construction and other people to carry out on the entrance.”
He added: “This automobile typically, the event of this automobile, is extra plasters that we placed on one thing that is not proper.”