Hill: Wolff had a long honeymoon, it's hard now

Hill: Wolff had a long honeymoon, it’s hard now

Hill: Wolff had a long honeymoon, it's hard now

Damon Hill reflected on the current situation at Mercedes, claiming Toto Wolff now faces a tough challenge now that his team is struggling to replicate its previous successes.

Ever since the current “ground effect” Formula 1 regulations kicked in back in 2022, Mercedes have been a shadow of their dominant self, the team that trounced the whole grid since 2014, as they mastered the Turbo-hybrid formula winning seven consecutive F1 Title doubles and the Constructors’ Championship in 2021.

However, the Brackley outfit are yet to understand how a ground-effect F1 car goes fast consistently and more importantly, without bouncing around.

In China last weekend, Mercedes finished the grand prix on Sunday sixth with George Russell and ninth with Lewis Hamilton, the latter finishing second in the Sprint Race.

However a setup change after the Sprint saw the seven-time F1 Champion qualify 18th fastest for the Sunday race in which he struggle to score two points, which is a clear example of how lost Mercedes are right now.

Wolff, who will remain as Mercedes team boss till 2026, is enduring one of his toughest years in the hot seat as he is yet to find away to steer his team around having enjoyed huge success since he came on board in 2013 up until 2021.

Wolff has to work out what’s wrong

Many believe Wolff inherited a successful F1 operation from Ross Brawn, his predecessor at the helm of Mercedes who put down the building blocks of the squad’s success, and 1996 F1 Champion Damon Hill is one of those.

Speaking on Sky Sports F1, Hill touched on Mercedes’ situation, he said: “Toto [Wolff] has had a long honeymoon period, a fantastic period of success with the team that he moved into which was pre-formed. Ross Brawn did a lot of the groundwork for that. It’s hard now, for him.

“The real work begins when you’ve got it wrong or when something isn’t going right. That’s quite tough to work out. That’s his job, he’s the boss, he’s got to work out where it’s going wrong, and who’s not telling him what’s going wrong within the team,” the Briton explained.

To make things worse for Mercedes, Hamilton seems to have lost faith in the team with whom he won six of his seven F1 Titles as he will be driving for Ferrari in 2025, his replacement yet to be announced.

Hill commented: “I think he [Hamilton] probably knew [of Mercedes’ struggles], the moment the first new regulation car appeared, that Mercedes were all at sea.”

Big Question: Can Toto Wolff lead Mercedes back to success?