Wolff divulges Hamilton’s true verdict on Mercedes’ upgraded W14 

Toto Wolff has made public Lewis Hamilton’s true feelings about the state of Mercedes’ upgraded 2023 F1 car.
Lewis Hami
Lewis Hami

Hamilton has driven the vastly-upgraded W14 to back-to-back second place finishes behind Max Verstappen at the United States and Mexico City Grands Prix, though he was disqualified from the Austin race due to a technical infringement. 

Mercedes introduced a new floor in the United States which Hamilton described as being “one of the first upgrades I actually felt over the last two years”, saying it has given him renewed confidence. 

And the seven-time world champion told Mercedes over the Mexico weekend that the improved W14 remains “so difficult to drive” but is “faster”, according to team principal Wolff. 

“I think we have seen that it is providing more downforce, more drivability, the car is a little bit less tricky,” Wolff said. 

“Still, the genes are there. Lewis said to me yesterday ‘she’s still so difficult to drive, although she’s faster.’ So I think for us, it was important to see whether, directionally, we were going in the right direction also for next year, and it seems to be on the right path.

“Because you must not forget the car that we’ve designed didn’t have that air flow, these sidepods, leading edges, then all the Christmas decorations we have designed for what we have now. So hopefully that can be a step next year.”

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates his second position on the podium. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 20,
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates his second position on the…

After trailing Verstappen by nearly 14 seconds in Mexico, Hamilton stressed Mercedes still require “some real big changes” to get on level terms with Red Bull going into next season. 

Despite the progress Mercedes have made, Wolff is keen to downplay his team’s chances at this weekend’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix, which was won by George Russell last year. 

“The longer you have the upgrade on the car and you correlate data, the better you’re going to be able to tune it,” Wolff added. 

“Now I don’t want to set the expectations too high with Brazil because last year, it came a little bit as a surprise that we dominated that weekend.

“So I think we have to go there knowing we have a good car and if we put all the ducks in a row then I think we can have a very strong weekend.

“Whether it’s good enough to beat Max [Verstappen]…their package, driver, car, power unit is just very, very complete at the moment."

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