Mercedes going ‘back to basics’ with W15 as Wolff sets sights firmly on Red Bull

Mercedes are “trying to get back to basics” with their 2025 F1 car, according to team boss Toto Wolff. 
Mercedes going ‘back to basics’ with W15 as Wolff sets sights firmly on Red Bull

After struggling for the past two seasons since new F1 regulations came into force at the start of 2022, Mercedes are planning a fundamental re-design for their W15 challenger. 

Work on next year’s car is already advanced and Wolff, who has skipped the last two races as he continues his rehabilitation from recent knee surgery, has provided an update on Mercedes’ development. 

"For 2024 we're going to change a lot, trying to get back to basics,” he told Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I don't want to hear Lewis saying, 'I'm sitting too far ahead with the cockpit, suspension cinematisms that we don't understand and so on. 

“We have to be decided on what we understand and what we don't understand we have to put aside: it's not about technical sophistication but about solid engineering.”

Mercedes going ‘back to basics’ with W15 as Wolff sets sights firmly on Red Bull

Speaking about the challenges Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are facing with the inconsistent W14, Wolff explained: "The biggest problem is that the drivers don't have confidence in the W14, in alternate phases on top of that. 

“When they curve they don't know how the car will behave, perhaps with different feelings between Hamilton and Russell despite adopting the same set-up. 

“If you have a solid platform, you take the results home, just look at Albon with the Williams, a simple and aerodynamically efficient single-seater without great means.”

Despite lagging behind a superior Red Bull team that have utterly dominated in 2023, Wolff remains confident that Mercedes can catch, and overhaul, their main rival before the next cycle of regulations begins in 2026. 

"I wouldn't be in this sport if I didn't feel I could beat Red Bull before 2026,” he insisted. 

“If you think about how much Aston Martin grew in the winter and the leap forward made by McLaren during the summer, if we were able to find 3 or 4 tenths we would be back in the game. 

“We know that our car is worth something more than it has produced so far, but we have not yet been able to figure out how to get there. But that's what allows us to be optimistic."

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