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Toto Wolff reveals Mercedes expectations for Miami updates

Toto Wolff has outlined the expectations at Mercedes for this weekend’s Miami upgrade package.

Mercedes are heading into the Miami GP weekend with plenty of questions to answer. The W15 is currently showing similar issues to its predecessors, alarming the Brackley team’s personnel and supporters. At the latest round of the season, Mercedes once again found themselves experimenting with set-up – in a bid to unlock more performance.

Unfortunately for the Silver Arrows, this tinkering did little to improve things. If anything, Lewis Hamilton complained that he felt worse in the W15 after the changes. Mercedes were again well outside of podium contention, several steps behind Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren.

This weekend, there will be reasons for optimism. Aside from a lack of overall downforce, a key limitation at Mercedes has been finding the correct operating window. Yet again, they find themselves unable to utilise the performance which – according to Toto Wolff – is in the car.

In Japan, for example, the Mercedes team principal insisted that Sunday’s results did not show the W15’s true pace. For the team 4th in the standings, proving they can put together an efficient weekend will be crucial in Florida.

2024 Chinese Grand Prix, Friday – Jiri Krenek

New parts for the W15 in Miami

Alongside plans to better optimise their existing package, the first major upgrades of 2024 will arrive this weekend. Toto Wolff has explained the team’s approach as they get ready to compete in Florida:

“It’s a challenging circuit, and we will be looking to put in a stronger showing in Miami and optimise the car.

“We know we need to add performance. We did not perform our best in China, making too many set-up changes ahead of Qualifying.

“That put us on the back foot for the rest of the weekend.”

The three days of F1 action in Miami will feature the Sprint weekend format. Therefore, establishing a strong baseline correlation before Friday Practice is essential. Both Mercedes and Ferrari proved in Shanghai that, even with a second parc ferme, starting from the wrong foot can start a downward spiral.

On numerous occasions since 2022, the Silver Arrows have overpromised and underdelivered. This increases scrutiny on the team to show that their optimistic rhetoric is not just to save face, and a genuine reflection of their ability to progress.

Having suffered from correlation issues for several years, there is naturally scepticism surrounding Toto Wolff’s personnel. As such, only on track improvements will convince that Mercedes can meaningfully climb the F1 pecking order.


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