Toto Wolff Believes Mercedes Problems Run Too Deep For Adrian Newey To Fix

2024 Chinese Grand Prix, Sunday - Toto Wolff
2024 Chinese Grand Prix, Sunday - Toto Wolff

Even Adrian Newey would struggle to swiftly fix Mercedes’ current troubles in Formula 1, according to team boss Toto Wolff.

In Miami, following Newey’s decision to leave Red Bull a year early amid the team’s current power struggles, the renowned technical guru has been spotted in conversation with Aston Martin team owner Lawrence Stroll.

And he is believed to have met up with Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur in London just before the pair jetted off to the USA for this weekend’s event.

Newey, however, has not been strongly linked with a move to Mercedes.

“I would never say that he isn’t an option at Mercedes because Adrian Newey is an incredible engineer,” team boss Wolff told Sky Deutschland in Miami.

“But even the greatest magician would have a hard time solving our problems at the moment.”

Indeed, despite utterly dominating F1 throughout the previous rules era of 2014-2021, Mercedes has so far totally failed to master the new ground-effect regulations.

“There is a science to these tyres that we don’t understand at the moment,” Wolff admits. “We don’t know how to get them into the best working window, but that cannot be an excuse because the others understand it better.

“We see that our opponents are making progress and we’re finding it incredibly slow and unsatisfactory,” he added. “It’s really frustrating and really annoying that we keep falling back into the same problem.”

Mercedes unveiled key car upgrades in Miami this weekend, but George Russell and the Ferrari-bound Lewis Hamilton continue to struggle.

“We see in the data why we are in this situation,” Russell said. “We now have to turn back development but unfortunately that takes more time.

“Upgrades have to be designed, then tested in the wind tunnel and finally built – and then the season is already half over. That’s why it’s so difficult to get out of a hole faster than we are.

“But that’s just the reality for us.”

Last year, one of Mercedes’ biggest problems was not getting enough heat into the tyres for a qualifying hot-lap. Now, the problem is the reverse – overheating the tyres.

“We overcompensated for some of our problems with the new car,” Russell admits. “It went from one extreme to the other.

“We worked so hard on the problems that we went too far in one direction. But this is where we are at the moment. We’re a small step behind McLaren and Ferrari and a big step behind Red Bull.

“The stopwatch doesn’t lie,” he said in Miami.

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