Wolff: We will 100% fight for the podium!

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is maintaining a sense of calm amid the challenges his team faces at the start of the 2024 Formula 1 season, attributing his composure to a change in mindset.

The Silver Arrows encountered difficulties, particularly highlighted during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, where the W15 particularly struggled in fast corners.

Despite the clear problems, Wolff remains steadfast in his belief that the team can overcome these obstacles. He expressed unwavering faith in Mercedes’ ability to address and correct the current shortcomings, even as the potential for a third straight year of trying to fix the cars’ ongoing problems with ground effect looms.

“I changed my mindset,” Wolff said. “I don’t think the added pressure on all of us makes us better.”

The Mercedes boss elaborated on the nature of the problem, clarifying that it was a matter of physics and not a lack of team effort or motivation. In addition, he emphasized the positive atmosphere within the organization and the collective desire for improvement.

“As runners, when we have such [disappointing] results, you feel down, but we’re trying to change that with the right motivation for the week ahead. That’s why we believe we can turn this around. We believe that our organization can be dug up. I am 100 percent sure that we can,” he assures.

Wolff also touched on the progress Mercedes has made in understanding their concept car, comparing the current situation to the uncertainties of the previous year. Despite the improvements and clearer direction, the car behaves especially unexpectedly at high speeds, which continues to confuse the entire team.

“This team was not very confident. We are probably the other way around. We always see that glass as half empty. And that attitude remains, but this is also an attitude to fix it,” he explains.

With confidence in the team’s abilities and lessons learned from past challenges, the Austrian is optimistic about Mercedes’ future performance. He believes the team’s collective efforts will pay off in the end, allowing them to fight more effectively and secure the podium, although he has ruled out challenging Max Verstappen in the near future.

“I have a different confidence in the group this time,” he notes.

“Is this good enough to beat Max [Verstappen] in Red Bull? No it’s not. But at least if we put ourselves in a position to fight for the podium and be there, I’m 100% sure we’ll get there,” added Toto Wolff.