Mercedes doubled down on its failed 2022 concept in 2023, which left it unable to bridge the gap with the dominant Red Bull squad as it beat Ferrari to a distant second place in the constructors’ standings.
Under technical director James Allison, who returned to the position after taking over from Mike Elliot, the team is readying a vastly different 2024 car, dubbed the W15.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Wolff has shared positive preliminary reports from Mercedes simulator driver Anthony Davidson that the car feels much more together than its troubled predecessors, which proved unpredictable and hard to drive for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.
“Obviously, I would love this to correlate to the track, but we’ve seen in the last two years that this was not always the case.”
Wolff has previously likened Mercedes’ challenge of being able to catch and beat Red Bull during the current regulations cycle, which runs for two more seasons, to scaling Mount Everest and “against the odds.”
But he says the team owes it to Hamilton and Russell, who both signed fresh contract extensions last summer until 2025, not to leave any stoned unturned over the next two seasons ahead of 2026’s rules revamp.
“Always believe it’s possible,” he added. “You cannot start the season with an attitude of ‘This is not going to be possible.’
“We saw last year with McLaren what a huge step they made with a single upgrade. We’ve signed a two-year deal with Lewis, and we owe it to him, to George, and to the whole team to give it our full attention in 2024 and 2025. I think it’s possible.”
Wolff explained that Mercedes is also taking steps in other areas, including pitstops, after seeing the likes of Red Bull and McLaren steal a march on the field with their lightning-fast procedures, saying the Brackley outfit’s stops will be “very different” this year.
“I think the regulations, how they were laid out a few years ago, we interpreted them in a very conservative way,” he added. “And we’ve seen other teams doing it differently. So watch this space. I think it’s going to be very different.”