Mercedes in 'no man's land' – gap to leaders 'unacceptable'


Toto Wolff says Mercedes is stuck in "no man's land" as it continues to struggle to cut its "unacceptable" deficit to F1's frontrunners.

Mercedes has been on the back foot since the start of the 2022 F1 season due to the aerodynamic issues impacting its new-generation car.

A glimpse of improvement was seen in Barcelona where Wolff claimed that the Brackley squad had finally understood and mitigated its car's porpoising problem.

But the progress has been incremental and failed to bring Mercedes significantly closer to Red Bull and Ferrari.

"I think we are the third team," said Wolff in Monaco where George Russell and Lewis Hamilton finished respectively fifth and eighth.

"We're not second and we're not fourth. We have two extremely strong drivers, but it is a huge annoyance for all of us that that the gap is about the same.

"If you're looking at it optimistically, it's five tenths. If you're looking at it pessimistically, it's more than eight tenths. And that is clearly for all of us at Mercedes not acceptable.

"I think we're learning at the moment at every track. Literally every kilometre that we're doing is an important lesson on how we can improve the car, to be honest.

"But we just need to get out of this no man's land in which we are at the moment."

For now, Mercedes remains committed to its W13 design and to unlocking its car's potential. But if significant improvements don't materialize over the summer, a rethink of the car's concept will be necessary for 2023.


"If you want to change concept, you need to understand what's going to make a new concept faster than the current one," said the Austrian. "And I think if he would have known, we would have done it.

"At the moment it is still very much believing in the structure and organization, and trying to bring development and understanding in order to increase the pace of the car.

"I think we just need to continue to just grind away and then, if decisions for next year need to be taken that can't be changed on the current car, whether it's architecture or aerodynamically, then yeah, these decisions need to happen. But we're not at that point yet."

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