Wolff seeking Mercedes gains in ‘critical moments’ after struggles


Toto Wolff has conceded that Mercedes is struggling to deliver “in critical moments” following a poor start to the 2024 season.

After three rounds, Mercedes has just 26 points following Lewis Hamilton’s engine failure in Australia, which was compounded by George Russell’s late crash.

Across the first three races, it has become clear that Mercedes has not taken a step forward that 2023 rivals Ferrari has, with the Italian team now firmly second-quickest behind Red Bull, with McLaren and Aston Martin fighting Mercedes for third-best.

Wolff has described the team as having a “fundamental” problem with its high-speed corner package, as exposed in Saudi Arabia, and with Suzuka’s Sector 1 being similar in nature, the race has been highlighted as one Mercedes could struggle.

The team has been working to try and find a consistent sweet spot of the W15, and Wolff believes Suzuka will present a “different challenge” for the car.

“After a difficult weekend in Australia, it’s good to get back racing in Japan this weekend,” said Wolff.

“Since Melbourne, we have been focused on improving the consistency of the W15. The car has shown signs of strong performance on occasion, but we’ve struggled to deliver this at the critical moments across the first three races.

“Suzuka, with its famously fast sweeps mixed with some low-speed content, plus elevation change, will provide a different challenge to the circuits we’ve raced at so far.

“It is therefore another good opportunity to build on our learnings and analyse the work that has been undertaken since Australia.

“We head to Japan at a slightly earlier time of year than usual this season. Whilst it is unlikely to have a major impact, it will be important to understand any differences that this causes in terms of track conditions.”



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