Toto Wolff: Mercedes Team Not Overconfident, Likely Opposite

“I've changed my mindset. I don't think that additional pressure on all of us makes it better."- Wolff said.

by Sead Dedovic
Toto Wolff: Mercedes Team Not Overconfident, Likely Opposite
© Clive Rose/Getty Images Sport

Mercedes' start to the new season isn't very promising. Toto Wolff, the Mercedes team principal, is aware that they are in a challenging situation but not necessarily a hopeless one. History has shown that nothing in the world of F1 is impossible. Wolff seems to lead with such a premise, optimistically believing that better days await his team. 

The races in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain revealed many shortcomings for Mercedes. Wolff was visibly dissatisfied after these races. However, he realized over time that dissatisfaction cannot produce the desired results. 

Wolff changed his mindset, believing that pressure can only create even bigger problems for them. Being under pressure is never easy. If you have young drivers, then pressure can only further complicate things. 

The Mercedes team principal emphasized that everyone within the team hopes that things will turn around in the remainder of the season.

“I've changed my mindset. I don't think that additional pressure on all of us makes it better.

I think we have a problem with the physics. It is not by lack of trying or by the mindset or the motivation or energies. All of that is there, and I can see the buzz in the organisation.

As racers, when we have such [disappointing] results, you're feeling down, but we're trying to change that with the right motivation for the week that comes. That's why we are believing that we can turn this around. We believe that our organisation can dig ourselves out. I'm 100% sure we can.”-Wolff said, as quoted by

Toto Wolff, the head of the Mercedes team in Formula 1, admitted that they are currently facing challenges in understanding why their car is not performing as expected. 

Since the beginning of the season, Mercedes has been trying to understand where the biggest problems lie. Before the start of the season, Mercedes' leaders and drivers were not overly optimistic in their statements, aware of the dangers that can arise from such remarks. In previous seasons, they made bold statements, announcing a title fight. However, in the past three seasons, they failed in their intentions. The 2023 season was particularly disappointing for them.

They have been trying to solve problems based on their data, but there is still an issue with the car's behavior at certain speeds. Wolff mentioned that the team is cautious and tends to see challenges more negatively, but they are determined to fix the problems and hope for better results in the upcoming races.

The mindset that most people within the team have after two races is what Wolff believes needs to be changed. The fact is that when you repeatedly encounter obstacles and disappointments, it is not easy to wake up from a 'bad dream.' However, Mercedes wouldn't be where it is today if they hadn't had optimism when it was most challenging. Aware that they were once a team that instilled fear in everyone, Wolff stresses that everyone needs to change their mindset and firmly believe in success.

“This team has not been overconfident. We are probably the other way around. We see that glass half empty always. And that attitude stays, but this is also the attitude to fix it.”

Mercedes team principal said that he feels more confident about his team, Mercedes, in the upcoming races. He talks about the team's improved confidence and how they've overcome uncertainties and challenges. Wolff believes they've figured out what works for them.  Analyzing the mistakes made in the first two races, they could determine where they made the biggest errors. It is imperative to correct such mistakes and bring Mercedes back to where they belong; to the very top!

He admits that, right now, they may not be as fast as Max Verstappen in a Red Bull, but he's hopeful. Even though they might not win races, Wolff is confident that Mercedes will get better and be in a good position to compete for podium finishes.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen© Clive Rose/Getty Images Sport

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton's decision

Red Bull and Max Verstappen have picked up right where they left off. The first two races immediately showed the strength of Red Bull. Despite the internal team turmoil following Christian Horner's departure, this team continues to prove themselves as the main contenders for the championship. Red Bull is a dominant force, and it seems they could maintain this dominance in the future.

On the other hand, the performance of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell doesn't sit well with Mercedes' leadership. Judging by expert analyses and what we see this season, Lewis Hamilton expected Mercedes will be as bad as the previous season. The Brit has realized that he can no longer compete under a team flag that cannot guarantee him a top position. This is one of the reasons he is likely to have decided to join Ferrari. He will be competing for them starting from the 2025 season.

Toto Wolff Mercedes