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Wolff: The team always shows great unity

Wolff: The team always shows great unity

Wolff: The team always shows great unity

Toto Wolff reflected on a tough 2023 Formula 1 season for Mercedes, and hailed his team for showing great unity under challenging circumstances.

In Mercedes‘ standards, their 2023 F1 campaign must have been a disappointing one, with no victories at all in the 22 grands prix they contested, but they were able to deliver P2 in the Constructors’ Championship after a close fight with Ferrari.

Toto Wolff, Lewis Hamilton, and Mick Schumacher visited the Mercedes factory last week to thank the team after a tough and long season, while George Russell was absent still recovering from his illness that he suffered from in the final couple of races of 2023.

Wolff addressed the staff in Brackley, he said: “Diversity is our strength. It’s so good to see team members who have been here a long time and not so long.

“The team always shows great unity, it’s what makes us different and sets us apart. We are honest with each other, we share the same objective. We want to win and we want to work together,” he insisted.

Wolff is looking forward to the winter break and plans to make the most out of it, he said: “My off season will be about downtime.

“The last few races were very physically and mentally draining. It will be about waking up in the morning and realizing there is no plan for the day,” he concluded.

As for seven-time F1 Champion, Hamilton, who finished the 2023 season third in the Drivers’ Championship, he added: “I’m encouraged by the progress we made through the year.

“We were adding performance, not taking steps back. I know we were both pushing so hard to get that second place for you guys. Whilst you can’t all be there at the race weekend, we know you are there in spirit.

“It’s been good to have these two years. We learn about ourselves. I have trust in every single one of you, I 1,000% believe we will be back on top,” the Briton maintained.

Russell: P2 ahead of the Ferraris was such a morale boost

Whilst not being physically at the factory, Russell, whose third place in Abu Dhabi’s season finale helped Mercedes beat Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship, sent a message to the team.

He said: “I just wanted to send a message, thanking you so much for all of your hard work and commitment throughout this season.

“I know as a team we’re still not where we want to be, but I felt like finishing the season in Abu Dhabi P2 ahead of the Ferraris was such a morale boost for all of us, really deserved after what was a very turbulent season to say the least and going into next year feeling so excited, so motivated to bridge that gap to the Red Bulls.

“I just want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, enjoy a bit of time off with your loved ones and I can’t wait to see you all in the New Year,” Russell concluded.

Schumacher has been working hard all season long behind the scenes in the Mercedes simulator assisting the on-track team and both drivers perfect the car setup every race weekend.

The German reflected: “There was a lot of hard work and some late nights in the Sim this year, particularly during the European season.

“Hopefully I was able to help Lewis and George through that, that was the aim,” Schumacher concluded.

Mercedes are planning a major overhaul to their car design, insisting the W15 for 2024 will be a major departure from its predecessor, the W14, a precarious beast both Hamilton and Russell couldn’t drive with confidence throughout the 2023 season.

Big Question: Do you believe Mercedes will bounce back with the W15?