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Mercedes already looking long-term
24 April 2013
Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has revealed that the German marque is already preparing to start switching focus towards its 2014 challenger – despite the fact that the 2013 F1 season has yet to return to European soil.
Mercedes has enjoyed a strong start to the new campaign with pole positions in both China and Bahrain and two podium finishes so far for Lewis Hamilton.
While that has shown the potential of the F1 W04, Mercedes is already hard at work on its 2014 car, with more than half of its workforce set to be working on the new machine by next month.
With new engine rules coming into play next year, Wolff insisted that the new cars would be the major focus for most teams by the middle of the summer, with Mercedes being no exception.
“We're already working on 2014 and we'll gradually raise the percentage of people working on next year's car,” he told the official F1 website. “I would say that in May we will reach a point where more than 50 per cent will work on the 2014 car.
“There is no doubt that at a point in the summer everybody will switch their main resources to the 2014 car, as this is a very complex and complicated machine. Of course it all depends on where you are in the standings. Those who are fighting for the title will of course concentrate longer on this year's car.”
Looking at the season to date, Wolff admitted he was pleased with the way Mercedes was performing although he said he keen to see it translate some of its Saturday performance into race day results.
“If you look at our races so far we've had two pole positions and finished twice in P3 - that translates to a very solid upward movement through hard work,” he said. “Yes, we have to consolidate our race results, but our two guys in the cockpit and our engineers and mechanics are doing a top job and I think what must be on our agenda now is to dovetail all elements a bit better - then we will have the race results we want. It sure is nice to have a pleasant Saturday evening, but I would settle much more for a great Sunday evening!
“[By the end of the year] I want to be among the four top teams in the constructors' championship and have a driver among the top four as well.”
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