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F1: Toto Wolff Reveals Where Mercedes Could Claim Victory

Mercedes’ winless start to 2023 could be on the verge of ending, with Toto Wolff having revealed where the Germans may be victorious.

Since introducing their new concept at the Monaco Grand Prix last month, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team have been a side rediscovering previously lost confidence. After enduring a largely miserable 2022 Formula 1 campaign and a dire start to 2023, it’s easy to see why the mood amongst the Silver Arrows camp was so low.

Mercedes entered 2023 keen to put their 2022 disappointments behind them; however, the Silver Arrows soon discovered that progress hadn’t been made. If anything, the Germans slipped further behind arch-rivals Oracle Red Bull Racing.

As a result, the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Team Principal Toto Wolff spoke brutally honestly to the media about the team’s position, whilst the seven-time World Champion openly admitted that he hadn’t been listened to. Fast forward to a few days before the Austrian Grand Prix and the mood is drastically different.

Mercedes’ new concept of the W14 has finally seen the German manufacturer demonstrate some real pace, enough to elevate them to second in the Constructors’ Championship. Whilst George Russell retired in Canada, the Silver Arrows did boast a strong package and have done at the last two races.

Hamilton has seemingly led the team with a new sense of belief since getting behind the wheel of the new concept, given that he’s yet to finish lower than fourth in the last three races. With the new concept at his disposal, Hamilton has finished fourth, second and third, filling him with hope that Mercedes are back on the right path.

With Mercedes being back on the right path for the first time since 2021, the Germans aren’t planning on taking their foot off the gas. Instead, they’re pushing on with further huge upgrades, as revealed by Wolff.

What Are Mercedes Planning?

Despite the new concept having been a sizeable upgrade in itself, Mercedes have another large developments package to introduce in just under two weeks at the British Grand Prix.

Switching concept has “accelerated” the speed of which the Brackley-based team are understanding the W14, allowing them to develop new parts quicker than before. Astonishingly, their planned upgrades package for the British GP isn’t their last before the summer break, with Wolff saying, as reported by GPFans.com:

“We are bringing a larger (set of upgrades) to Silverstone.”

“And then we should have another one before the shutdown (the F1 summer break).”

“The learnings (of the car) have accelerated a lot since we changed some of the conceptual architecture.”

A very noticeable feature about Mercedes as of late is just how much more competitive they’ve become, since introducing the new concept. Prior to Monaco, the Silver Arrows were clearly behind Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team in terms of outright pace and performance; however, not anymore.

Whilst Fernando Alonso did beat Hamilton to second in Montreal, their pace was remarkably similar. If you look at the Spanish Grand Prix though, Mercedes were comfortably quicker than Aston Martin.

The gap to Red Bull does appear to have come down slightly as well, with Hamilton having finished just over 14 seconds behind Max Verstappen in Canada. The main reason for Mercedes’ recent improvements is simply because they finally have a car they understand, allowing them to make “bigger” steps going forwards.

Wolff expects further progress to be made ahead of the summer break, due to one of their biggest problems of the last 18 months having finally be eradicated, saying:

“There should be decent steps coming in the next four races and we are understanding better the simulations, which correlates with what we are seeing on track.”

“That has been our problem over the last one-and-a-half years, but we are seeing good performance gains coming from the wind-tunnel. We have a better understanding of what the car needs in order to go fast, what the setups need to look like.”

“The steps are getting bigger now, and we are making good inroads.”

Where Are They Most Likely to Win?

With Mercedes finally back on track with a positive trajectory, their attention has already started to focus on returning to the top step of the podium.

It really is remarkable that a team of Mercedes’ stature has claimed just one win since the start of the new aerodynamic regulations, courtesy of Russell at the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix. The Silver Arrows’ wait for a second win in the new era of the sport could soon be over though, with Wolff having revealed where he thinks the team’s best chance of victory is.

A reporter asked the Austrian in Montreal where Mercedes could win, with his answer presumably delighting fans of Russell and Hamilton. Wolff simply answered the question by stating: “Silverstone.”

Wolff believes the upcoming British GP could be where Mercedes return to winning ways, and bring Red Bull’s dominant start to 2023 to an end.

However, should the Germans clinch the top step at Silverstone, then there is a small matter to address. Will it be Hamilton or Russell flying the British flag?

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