Toto Wolff talks about tracing the issues when the season doesn’t go in your favour as he adds on his F1 rivals and how fear is not what he has.
For Mercedes and Wolff, it was a slip from the top, a massive slip as they fell from grace. The 2022 F1 season’s favourite topic was the dreaded porpoising which affected all teams but some more so than others and in particular the Brackley concern.
The big issue and concern for Mercedes was how far they fell. Over 100 race wins in the hybrid era along with seven world drivers’ titles and eight constructors’ championships, it wasn’t easy for them to settle for being third-best in the standings.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom, they did achieve one win in the end which was also a 1-2. And as things transpired, they almost snatched second in the constructors race and at one stage, George Russell almost took third in the drivers race too.
Once the season is done, the discussion and analysis is about tracing what went wrong and how it went wrong. “I think that parameters change, we are analysing what are the reasons in the past that teams that dominated suddenly lost performance and you can trace it back pretty well,” said Wolff. “Change of regulation, people leaving”.
“We have the same organisation, the same capability, same financial funding, and I believe we can trace it back so we avoid the same mistakes. We were aware of that with the regulations change and we got it wrong but all the other pillars are still in place and we have to tune the systems and cant understand”.
“I think 100% that this was necessary for us to remotivate and re-energise the organisation. We won eight times in a row, more than 100 races and this has again made us feel come back down to the ground, made us appreciate how it feels when you win in Brazil and also understand how difficult how it is to recover from a race like we have had before from many races that we were just not good enough”.
“So, I think we will be looking back in a few years and saying that was absolutely necessary and my perspective is not one season, my perspective is 10 years, looking back in 10 years and saying we have been there constantly. We have been respectful of that this year, we have won a race, we have had 10 or more podiums , we have been third on the road and that’s respectable,” summed up Wolff, who looked at the year as a big learning curve for them.
It happened to Mercedes, it has happened to teams again and again. Teams are at the top, a slip and they trundle down the pecking order. Going back to the tracing point, Wolff includes Red Bull and Ferrari in the case who too lost out after years of dominance.
“You can see that with Ferrari’s to give you an example, they lost the whole top leadership and a key driver, I think that is something that you can trace it back,” said Wolff. “With Red Bull, it was a fundamental situation, a power unit regulation change upside down and no works team basically”.
“So it was fundamental parameters that changed and you know we are looking at that and thinking that we better be careful because the season has gone by in a heartbeat and we cant let that happen when we look back after next season or the one after saying that’s better,” summed up Wolff.
Looking forward to this season now for 2023, the way Mercedes finished the campaign possibly makes them wish that the 2022 season was still going on. If we take what they lost in development terms, Mercedes would definitely have been up there. For this season they now know where they have to be. They must hit the ground running.
“I think I have no such feeling in Formula One that is fear because it is too big an emotion,” said Wolff. “So not fear but we need to be sharp. We have lost six months of development because we simply had to solve the porpoising problem before we could get the performance back”.
“Whatever we added in terms of downforce, the drivers couldn’t feel it, the car became even more unpredictable and bouncing got worse so considering six months delay in putting performance on the car is something that will be very difficult to catch up against Ferrari and Red Bull and we have started a 100 metre sprint 10 metres behind everyone so we just have to run faster and this organisation all that it needs to run faster,” summed up Wolff.
Here’s how the F1 2022 teams were categorised in ranking: https://formularapida.net/f1-2022-teams-categorised-in-tier-system-for-their-performances/
Here’s how the F1 2022 drivers were categorised in ranking: https://formularapida.net/f1-2022-drivers-categorised-in-tier-system-for-their-performances/
Here’s drivers’ list of Top 10 drivers
Here’s the team bosses list of Top 10 drivers
Here’s Lewis Hamilton having gratitude for 2022
Here’s Mercedes pair on multiple topics for 2022
Here’s Lewis Hamilton picks his races of 2022
Here’s Mercedes pair on moments for Mercedes in 2022
Here’s George Russell on relation with Lewis Hamilton