Ahead of the 2023 FORMULA 1 season-opener in Bahrain, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has confirmed his team will be playing catch up as they look to close the gap to Red Bull and Ferrari.
‘We didn’t have the smoothest winter test in Bahrain. We had some reliability problems and struggled with the car set-up on day two. But the key objective was to learn about the car, and we did lots of learning. We made good progress on the final day, which gave us directions to work on in the short period between the test and this weekend’s race.
‘It’s always hard to have a clear picture of competitiveness at pre-season testing – and even more so with only three days of data available. Our expectations were that we would likely be playing catch-up to the front, based on how last year ended. That seems to be the case so far but we will only know for sure after this weekend. Nevertheless, we are confident we have got a car we can work with and are in a stronger position than 12 months ago. More importantly, we are relishing the challenge. This championship will be fought over 23 race weekends, and each one will give us an opportunity to improve.
‘The start of a new season is always exciting, whether you’ve been working in this sport for a few decades, years or weeks. So much hard work has gone into the W14 over the winter and the anticipation to be get racing has kept on building. We will be going flat out this weekend – and are determined to keep that going to the final lap in Abu Dhabi,’ said Wolff.