F1 News

Wolff hints at copying other teams: 'Lauda would have done that'

Wolff hints at copying other teams: 'Lauda would have done that'

18 March - 10:28 Last update: 10:36


Has Mercedes decided on the direction they want to go with the W14? According to team boss Toto Wolff, we can expect a very different car from the team in five, six or seven races from now. The Austrian also hints that the team will take inspiration from rivals' cars.

Is Mercedes abandoning old philosophy?

Time was already starting to run out for Mercedes. The team that, after eight years of sheer dominance, has now started two years in a row with a deficit, probably needs to change course to rejoin Ferrari and Red Bull Racing at the top. It seems that Mercedes has indeed chosen to change tack. Speaking to Sky Sports Wolff in fact let it be known that another W14 is coming.

Wolff would not necessarily call it a B-specification of the W14: "It depends what you mean by that. "I think that the car is going to look very different in five, six or seven races based on the decisions that we have taken and the development direction that we have embarked on" By this, it seems Wolff is saying that the team has embarked on a new path after all, abandoning the old philosophy.

If this is so, the question is whether the team can still be somewhat competitive this season. In 2022, Mercedes showed strong development ability. It could also be possible that Mercedes will start with a new philosophy and only hope to compete for wins again in 2024.

Wolff hints at imitating competition

It is possible to hit back says Wolff in any case: "We all voted for the cost cap to kick in with the aim of establishing a more level playing field. We were bitten by that, that's clear at this stage, but I don't want to ever say that the cost cap doesn't allow us to catch back up." For Mercedes, it is a challenge in efficiency. Mercedes has the biggest factory, huge staff and also used to have the biggest budget. Now Mercedes has to show it can fight its way back with fewer resources.

With former adviser Niki Lauda, Wolff says it would have been a lot easier. His late colleague and friend would have kept it simple. Wolff knows what the Austrian would have said. Wolff speaks for Lauda: "Our car looks very different, let's make it like the others and optimise it." This comment from Wolff perhaps indicates that this is exactly what Mercedes is going to do. Indeed, Wolff thinks there is also a lot to learn from Aston Martin. Mercedes might just copy the Red Bull Racing RB19 in a few races from now.