Wolff: The experiments worked, we have a clear direction

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff assures that they are on the right track because their experiments have succeeded and that they now have a clear direction of what needs to be done on their car this year.

The Silver Arrows arrived at the Japanese Grand Prix looking to resolve issues from the previous race at the Australian Grand Prix where they suffered their worst weekend of the current season.

However, it was not only Melbourne that was problematic, but in general the start of the 2024 season again brought things that the record holders in won constructors’ titles in a row did not expect.

Problems with the correlation of data from the wind tunnel and the real situation on the track of their W15 did not match at all. Mercedes have taken extensive action to fix it, with technical director James Allison stating that they understand what the problem is, but they need time for a solution.

The head of Mercedes originally announced that he would not be in Japan, but he still decided to come so that he could fully devote himself to the problems of his car. In three days, statements came from him and Hamilton that they were largely satisfied with the progress.

The seven-time champion even stated that the W15 is the best car in the last three years where he had a pleasant feeling. Although they finished far from the podium in the race for the Japanese Grand Prix, the head of Mercedes saw significant progress and that certain factors made it impossible for them to find themselves in higher positions.

But the Austrian went even further by assuring that they have laid the foundations for the continuation of the season because what they tested was successfully done and now they have the necessary direction.

“We have to analyze why that is because the second and third stints were very good,” Wolff said of their race being hampered by a poor first stint.

“That’s the positive thing we take from the race. Now it’s live testing for us. We were at the back, and now we’ve gone in a different direction and I think that’s what’s happening.”

“It’s definitely been a lot better, and there’s still a lot of data that points us in the right direction, even if it’s not reflected in the result,” he explains.

“I can’t wait to go racing in Shanghai. We just need to have a better start to the weekend. Some of the proofs of concept we’ve done here will be on the car. And then [we’ll] see what we can do in Shanghai.”

“The experiments worked. I think what I said, we have a clear direction, although the qualifications and the race result do not reflect that at all,” he assures.

The Austrian added that they aimed for one stop in the race, but they understood that they had overloaded the tires. But after picking up speed, they were competitive at race pace.

We aimed for one pit stop. And then we found out that it is not possible. We probably overdid it with the tires,” he explains.

“But the moment we picked up speed on similar stints as the others, we were competitive,” added the Mercedes boss.