Toto Wolff reveals Mercedes W15 “working as we expected” ahead of first race of F1 2024

Toto Wolff has spoken positively about this year's Mercedes F1 car ahead of the first race in Bahrain.

Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain, Day One.-
Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director…

Toto Wolff believes the Mercedes W15 F1 car is performing “as we expected” following three days of running in Bahrain.

F1 officially returns this weekend for the Bahrain Grand Prix as Mercedes look to end their win drought which stretches back to the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

Based on pre-season testing, Mercedes appear to be in a close fight for second behind Red Bull with Ferrari, McLaren and Aston Martin.

Mercedes have built an entirely new car for this year, adopting new designs and architectural choices, resulting in a completely different feeling for the drivers.

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have already spoken positively about the new car, revealing that it is “better to drive”.

Speaking ahead of the first race, Wolff explained why the early signs are “encouraging” for Mercedes.

“A new season brings new opportunity and it's exciting to be heading into a new campaign with all the drama it will inevitably bring,” he said. “Each of the last two seasons, we've headed to the first race of the year on the back foot.

“There was inherent goodness in the W13 and W14, but it often proved too difficult to unlock. They were inconsistent machines. Our main aim going into 2024 therefore was clear: create a consistent and stable platform. A car that would react as we expected. One that the drivers could consistently push. And one that we can develop throughout the year, in the knowledge that we are bringing real-world performance to the track. 

George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain, Day Three.-, EMail:
George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir,…

“Over these first two races, we will get a much better understanding of the job we have done. After pre-season testing though, we can draw some initial conclusions. The drivers are much happier with the overall balance. The basic platform is working as we expected. The correlation to our simulations looks to be accurate. This is all encouraging. It's a good foundation that we can build on.”

Despite positive noises coming from Mercedes, Red Bull are still the team to beat, with their advantage reportedly as great as it was last year.

“Our focus at the test was on learning about the car we have,” Wolff added. “Our attention can now turn to tuning performance for the Bahrain race weekend.

“Red Bull, as is to be expected, look to be at the head of the field. The chasing pack looks tight. We will soon get an idea of where we stack up in that. And the task that is ahead of us to close the gap to the front. 

“Wherever we net out though, the whole team is relishing the challenge ahead. There is a palpable sense of energy running through the factories and those trackside. The year ahead is long. There will be many ups, along with the inevitable downs. But this is why we love racing. And now, we can't wait to get going.”

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