Toto Wolff believes there’s an ‘easy route out’ of Mercedes’ current problems

Toto Wolff believes there is an “easy route out” for Mercedes to solve some of their issues, but the team principal is keen to avoid “simpler solutions”.

The German manufacturer continues to struggle to challenge in the 2022 season, with Mercedes a distant third in the constructors’ championship standings after five races.

There were reasons for optimism in practice at the Miami Grand Prix as George Russell topped the timings in Free Practice 2, but both Russell, particularly, and Hamilton were down the field in qualifying after overnight tweaks to the W13 car inadvertently worsened performance.

Continuing to battle porpoising issues, Mercedes are yet to find definite solutions to their issues and while Wolff is aware of a plan for a more immediate fix, he is reluctant to “capitulate” and instead hopes to strike the right balance.

“I think there is an easy route out and you just say, ‘we are not able to generate it over the floor’ and you patch it up, make it stiffer and see where you end up in performance,” Wolff explained.

“That is probably faster than where we are at now, but we haven’t yet capitulated and gone back to the simpler solutions. I think that everybody tries to chase downforce with a degree of ground-effect and that, obviously, is a tricky balance to get.

“Because if you are able to put it right, your car is going to be very quick and generally [have] downforce. But if you are not there or you get it wrong, it is what is happening to us at the moment.”

Mercedes have won every constructors’ crown since 2014, with Hamilton winning sixth world titles in that time.

However Ferrari and Red Bull are already more than 50 points ahead of Wolff’s team, who have written off hopes of a title challenge as Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen set the early pace.

Hamilton was hoping to contend for a record eighth drivers’ championship, but has been regularly out-performed by junior team-mate Russell, who has credited his time at Williams with making him more used to dealing with a problematic car.

Hamilton is disappointed that progress does not appear to have been made: “Unfortunately we are at the same speed as we were in the first race. We haven’t improved in these five races but I am hopeful, we have to keep trying and keep working hard.

“There is potential in the car and she is fast but we just don’t understand how to unlock the potential. It is a car that is super difficult to drive, dipping in and out of the performance window – more out than in – and dissecting the data with a scalpel is a painful process.

“The data sometimes doesn’t show what the drivers tell us and suddenly they have their hands full with a car that is not nice, comfortable or predictable to drive.”

Douglas Mateo

Douglas holds a position as a content writer at Neptune Pine. His academic qualifications in journalism and home science have offered her a wide base from which to line various topics. He has a proficiency in scripting articles related to the Health industry, including new findings, disease-related, or epidemic-related news. Apart from this, Douglas writes an independent blog and assists people in living healthy life.