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mercedes hamilton not wolff

Wolff: W15 feels like a car for first time in two years

mercedes hamilton not wolff

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff revealed that the team’s 2024 Formula 1 challenger, the W15, is giving positive signs in the simulator as it feels like a car.

Mercedes are looking to put two F1 seasons of disappointment behind them with their 2024 F1 car, the W15, a car they hope will help drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell challenge Max Verstappen and Red Bull.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Wolff claimed that the new car, which will be revealed in February 14, 2024, seems to be a decent machine, compared to its predecessors, the W13 and W14, two undrivable machines not worthy of the high Mercedes standards.

He revealed that Mercedes sim driver Anthony Davidson has already tried the car and gave some encouraging feedback, he said: “He [Davidson] was driving Melbourne [in the sim]. And he said: ‘The car feels like a car for the first time in two years…'”

However the Austrian was wary not to count his chickens before they hatched, he added: “Obviously I would love this to correlate to the track but we’ve seen in the last two years that this was not always the case.

“I think the regulations, how they were laid out a few years ago, we interpreted them in a very conservative way,” he reflected. “And we’ve seen other teams doing it differently. So watch this space. I think it’s going to be very different.”

Mercedes will have Hamilton and Russell racing for them in 2024 and 2025, and despite Russell’s less impressive second season with the team, Wolff is adamant the young Briton has “absolutely met the team’s expectations”.

He went on: “George is our future. And you know, when I look at all the young men, of the current Formula 1 drivers, he’s the one I would want to have in a car.”

With Hamilton closing in on 40 years of age, it is normal that Wolff looks to the future with Russell, but he nevertheless insists the seven-time F1 Champion has still got what it takes to win and fight for Championships.

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“The answer is clearly yes in capital letters,” was Wolff’s response when asked if Hamilton can win an eighth F1 Drivers’ Crown.

“There is a reason Lewis is a seven-time world champion, and has broken all the records, his ability is on a different level. If we are able to give him a car that he actually feels, that drives in a way that he can trust, he will be on the level that’s needed to win the championship. 39 is no age,” he explained.

In 2023, Red Bull and Max Verstappen ran away with the Title, with Mercedes, McLaren, Ferrari and Aston Martin taking turns in challenging them for second best status.

While Mercedes bagged second in the Constructors’ Championship, consistently scoring points, it was McLaren that ended the 2023 season with a second fastest car.

But Wolff is not ruling out Mercedes delivering a quantum leap in 2024, similar to what McLaren did insisting he “always believe it’s possible”.

“You cannot start the season with an attitude of ‘This is not going to be possible.’” he added. “We saw last year with McLaren, what a huge step they made with a single upgrade.

|We’ve signed a two year deal with Lewis, and we owe it to him, to George and to all the team to give it our full attention in 2024 and 2025. I think it’s possible,” the Austrian maintained.

Wolff himself has renewed his contract with Mercedes for three years and will remain as Team Principal till the end of the 2026 season, in addition to being a team co-owner.