Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff talk about the updates that Mercedes have brought and continue to bring as F1 2023 work goes on.

With three races to go, it is three more chances for Hamilton to save his season from being his first ever winless one, for Mercedes to save their season from being winless for the first time since 2011 and for George Russell to earn his debut win.

To be fair, Mercedes are almost there. For Hamilton, so near but but yet so far last Sunday and he also had winning chances at Zandvoort and Silverstone. There have been several upgrades of late, and that is surely a plus for the Brackley team. They now appear to have the speed but still lag behind Red Bull somewhat.

“Honestly, it’s really difficult to say whether or not… I’m sure the team will know whether we’ve taken a step forward compared to others,” said Hamilton about the updates. “It’s difficult to say whether it’s compared to these guys, but I’m sure it helped. Just because you go to different races, sometimes, from the last race of this race it’s difficult to really feel exactly. But I do think we’ve taken a step in the right direction”.

“They’ve been so fast on the straight, I think, under DRS they’re like 35km/h faster than us. If we’re behind them, we’re like, 22k faster, I think it is, with DRS on the back straight. So he came from a long, long way back. But even without the DRS, I think they’re still something like 8k up on us, so we’ve got a lot of time being lost on the straight, probably four tenths at least a lap”.

“And so we’ve got some improvements to make for next year’s car,” summed up Hamilton. A lot still to do and a lot to think about for then. When speaking to media, Wolff gave a pretty exact scenario of where Mercedes are, and the way things will progress for the next campaign and their deficit to Red Bull currently.

“A few reasons for that, one is our car is just too draggy overall,” said Wolff. “That is something that we need to figure out for next year and cost cap plays a role, we cannot just produce an infinite amount of low drag bits or spend a lot of time in the wind tunnel to come up with solutions so it is for next year.”

Even though we are near the end of the current season, Mercedes like other teams have one eye on next year.  Some parts and areas will change but others remain the same. “No, I think the DNA of the car is going to change for next year, that’s clear, it doesn’t necessarily mean that our bodywork is going to look very different but certainly what is part of the DNA of the car, the architecture of the car will change for next year,” Wolff noted.

However, depending on where they finish in the constructors race will also determine their wind tunnel time for 2023. Second place at best if they can pip Ferrari, third as it stands is theirs which is always a bonus while chasing as they felt the lack of time being winners last year and not getting enough time this season.

“Yes, from that point it was a significant disadvantage so far because all of 2021 we were the leading team and then we won the constructors’ championship so all of the first half of 2022 we had 7% less windtunnel time than the 18 months before of Red Bull and much less than Ferrari,” said Wolff.

“Now it swings the other way around. Compared to Red Bull we’re going to have 14% more if we finish third so that over time is exactly what the regulations were designed for, to give us the potential to eek the advantage out. To claw it back,” summed up Wolff.

Here’s George Russell on Lap 1 incident