Mercedes will put its troublesome 2022 car in the receptions of its two F1 factories as a reminder how difficult it is to win in Formula One, after Toto Wolff declared: “Next year, we are back.”
After eight straight constructors’ titles, Mercedes won just a single race this year at last week’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
At the Abu Dhabi finale Mercedes was unable to beat Ferrari to second in the championship.
Mercedes F1 boss Wolff said the team’s W13 car must serve as motivation for it to return to the front.
“First of all we’re going to put this car in reception in Brackley and Brixworth to remind us every single day how difficult it can be,” Wolff said after the final race of the year, before addressing the camera to those watching at those factories.
“To everyone watching today in HPP [High Performance Powertrains] and MGP… this is a character building season. Not a blip for a race but a full season. You keep pushing so hard, the engine came on so well and I’m proud what we achieved there.
“On the chassis side there were more bad moments than good ones, but the good ones were spectacular, like a week ago. It made us feel how good it can be and now we are pushing for next year.
“It’s raw, it’s bad and it’s OK to feel like that… but next year, we are back.”
Wolff said the final race of the year summed up the team’s whole season. Lewis Hamilton retired late on with a hydraulic issue, while George Russell appeared to drop off in the final stint on route to a distant fifth place.
“That was really not good, all the mistakes you can make,” he said. “A car that was not out of pace. It should have been third quickest today. One breaking down and the other running out of tyres.
“It’s a precise summary of the season… and here we are.”
He added: “I think we cooked the tyres in the first few laps, we attacked strong, the car seemed to be really good and then the front right just gave up. We should have predicted [it].
“We knew Abu Dhabi was going to be a difficult one for the car so the correlation is good. Brazil was just spectacular, dominating from the beginning to the end with a one-two and at least we ticked the box with a race win.”
Toto Wolff makes Mercedes F1 vow
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