hamilton russell china f1 mercedes wolff

Mercedes hoping for “a good step” at Miami Grand Prix

hamilton russell china f1 mercedes wolff

Despite a well below-par 2024 Chinese Grand Prix weekend, Mercedes F1 Team boss Toto Wolff is cautiously confident his team have “a good step” for the disappointing W15 for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in Miami.

Mercedes are into a third year in the F1 doldrums, nowhere near the dominant Red Bulls, way off Ferrari and more often than not beaten by their customer teams.

Speaking to Sky F1 after Sunday’s Round 5 in Shanghai, Wolff summed up Mercedes fortunes: “Considering where we put the cars altogether, our team was not [in] a good position. Not good enough overall, P6 and P9 but it’s lacking pace so we’ve got to dig deep.

“We have something coming for Miami that looks like a good step. Let’s see where that brings us out,” said Wolff, whose team lie fourth in the 2024 F1 Construtcors’ Standings albeit 143 points down on Red Bull at the top.

Asked if the Mercedes W15 was an “okay” car, Wolff replied: “No, it’s not an okay car. I think we can see what the mistakes were that we made on the car. We wanted to go a bit more aggressive to see [if it is] something that is so different that we need to do on the car.”

Wolff: The race car was not fast

Verstappen could consider joining rivals Mercedes, says Wolff | SuperSport

“You can see Lewis took it on him also. That was maybe a step too far,” reckoned Wolff, adding: “Also the race car was not fast. You could hear him saying [that] the car doesn’t turn, and this is what we’ve been seeing on the data. It just wasn’t the right thing to do.”

This points to the problem that has plagued Mercedes since the current rules: they do not understand what makes their cars go fast anymore, as Hamilton’s longest-ever winless streak in F1 looks set to continue as he marks time before moving to Ferrari at the end of this season. A reality that cannot come soon enough for the seven-time F1 World Champion.

As for how much difference they expect to see from the W15 in Miami with the new upgrades bolted on, Wolff was not saying: “Let’s see, hopefully, a bit.”

At this point of the season last year, five races into the championship Mercedes had scored 96 points, a year earlier on 95. This year Russell and Hamilton have only 52 on the board in total which is the worst start to a season for the Silver Arrows since 2011.

Big Question: What must Mercedes do to find performance in the woeful W15?