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Wolff: Jeddah an opportunity to take a step forward immediately

Wolff: Jeddah an opportunity to take a step forward immediately

Wolff: Jeddah an opportunity to take a step forward immediately

Toto Wolff is looking to this week’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix for Mercedes to take an immediate step forwards after what he labeled an underwhelming Bahrain Grand Prix for his team.

The eight-time Formula 1 Constructors’ Champions have produced a new car for the 2024 season, abandoning their failed “zeropod” concept which they debuted in 2022 at the start of this current era of regulations.

While Mercedes and both drivers – Lewis Hamilton and George Russell – were adamant that the W15 was a good platform to start with, and up until qualifying, where Russell was third fastest, that seemed to be the case.

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But a combination of lack of pace as well as cooling problems caused by a wrong cooling configuration, Russell finished the race in Bahrain fifth, while Hamilton was seventh the latter qualifying ninth.

Wolff reflected on his team’s first grand prix in 2024 speaking in Mercedes‘ Jeddah preview, he said: “Our race in Bahrain was best described as underwhelming.

“We were hopeful of a stronger showing after our performance in practice and qualifying. Both drivers were pleased with the balance earlier in the weekend, and the more stable platform provided by the W15.

“Unfortunately on Saturday evening, our cooling performance didn’t match our predictions. That forced us into management mode early on, which had the knock-on impact of reducing tyre temperatures below optimum.

“That cost us the opportunity to show something closer to our true potential. It was a frustrating way to start the season but one we will learn from,” the Austrian maintained.

However, with Jeddah and Bahrain being back to back races, Wolff sees that as a chance for Mercedes to make amends and try to take an immediate step forward.

“We’ve got an opportunity to take a step forward immediately,” he claimed. “Jeddah is a street track with a lot of high-speed content. It will be good to continue our learning with the new car on a very different circuit to Bahrain.

“We will be aiming for a more consistent weekend and to understand our true performance relative to the rest of the grid,” the Mercedes boss concluded.

Mercedes finished the 2023 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix fourth and with Russell and Hamilton respectively.