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Wolff: Mercedes to keep on making 'small steps forward'

Toto Wolff says his Mercedes team wants to keeping making “small steps forward” in the coming races after the progress displayed by its W14 car in Australia last time out.

In Melbourne, while Red Bull remained out of reach on race day, Mercedes secured its best result year-to-date, courtesy of Lewis Hamilton’s runner-up spot behind winner Max Verstappen.

Unfortunately, an engine failure put paid to the efforts of George Russell who had second at Albert Park and who led the early stages of the race.

While Mercedes’ drivers enjoyed a leisurely three-week break, there was no rest for the team’s crews at Brackley and Brixworth where everyone worked flat out to prepare for Baku and for F1’s upcoming events.

“We’ve had a few weeks off from racing but both factories have been hard at work,” confirmed Wolff.

“We’ve tried to maximise this period, bringing planned development to the car and extracting as much as possible from our learnings so far.

“Australia showed that we are making progress, although we need to be cautious about reading too much into a single result.

“But the signs in Melbourne were still encouraging and that has been a good motivator for the whole team heading into this gap in the calendar.”

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Mercedes’ engineers have put together a comprehensive upgrade plan that will likely move the team’s W14 away from its current zero-sidepod aero design. But Wolff suggests that the car’s development will follow an incremental process.

“Over the next races, we want to keep on making small steps forward,” he said.

“The car will continue to evolve in the coming weeks, as we steadily bring performance and upgrades to the track. We’re excited to see their impact, but we know there is no magic bullet.”


F1 teams head into a massively busy period, with five races unfolding over the next six weeks. In Baku, the competition will resume with the first Sprint event of the year taking place on Saturday, but within a new format that shouldl add another challenging layer to the weekend.

“After just under a month with no F1 action, everyone’s eager to be back out on track,” continued Wolff. “Thankfully we’ve got plenty of that coming up.

“It’s a busy window in the calendar with five races in six weekends, starting with Azerbaijan.

“The racing in Baku is always dramatic and entertaining. It’s a challenging track with the walls close, so there’s no room for error.

“We also have our first F1 Sprint weekend of the season with a tweaked format. It’s an interesting challenge for us to tackle, with only a single practice session to be ready for two qualifying sessions and races spread across Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“Hopefully this will mean more excitement and action for fans to enjoy.”

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