Toto Wolff: “The car isn’t fast enough, and we have no idea why”

Miami Qualifiche

Toto Wolff admits that Mercedes has no clear understanding of why the W14 is lacking the performance to compete at the front of the field.

After an alarming qualifying session, the Silver Arrows will be relatively pleased to have recovered in the race to finish 4th and 6th, demonstrating reasonable performance.

Despite Miami proving an uninspiring weekend for Mercedes, they were still able to outscore their immediate rivals – Aston Martin and Ferrari.

However, these positives will be of little consolation for the German squad. Red Bull is still comfortably the faster package, and Fernando Alonso seems to have the measure of the W14 in his Aston Martin.

There were concerns about the Mercedes W14 as early as pre-season, but these fears have not translated into adequate corrections.

Imola represents an opportunity for the Brackley-based team to introduce a crucial upgrade package.

Still, it is difficult to envision a scenario where these updates will be enough to immediately put Mercedes at the front.

Speaking last weekend in Miami, Toto Wolff had no intention of sugar-coating the situation:

“I think the car isn’t a good car. Its weaknesses are everywhere. 

“It’s the base performance of the car, the lack of understanding, the whole package… I would say the performance is just really bad,” MARCA quotes him as saying.

Miami GP1, George Russell.

“The car is not fast enough, and we haven’t got any idea why that is. It’s just not acceptable.

“It’s worse than I ever thought it would be. It’s been 12 months since we were last in Miami, and the car is slightly better. 

“We don’t suffer from porpoising on the straight, but that’s the only thing that’s better than last year…

“Our car is P1 or P2 in some practice sessions and then P6 and P13 in qualifying. That’s just unacceptable.”

Mercedes have started these F1 regulations on the back foot, and the recovery process barely seems to have begun.

The team will need to address its weaknesses quickly if they are to have any chance of re-asserting themselves as contenders.