Published On: Wed, May 24th, 2023
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Mercedes and Toto Wolff finally listen to Martin Brundle a year later ahead of Monaco GP | F1 | Sport

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has finally listened to Martin Brundle as Lewis Hamilton and George Russell continue to struggle. The Sky Sports F1 host urged Mercedes to axe their concept after struggling in the first few races of 2022.

He stressed the constructor may be forced into a “redesign” if they wanted to catch Red Bull and return to the front. Brundle said: “There must be a point coming soon when they have to accept this car and concept doesn’t work and have a redesign for the second half of the season.

“It’s a really difficult situation Mercedes find themselves in. The next race or two, starting here, is critical for them solving the problem. Can they understand it? Can they fix it?” Mercedes battled through with the difficult design last year and had little success with many believing they should ditch the model for 2023.

However, George Russell picked up a stunning win at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix which left Mercedes with a difficult decision.

They stuck by their existing concept for 2023 believing they had finally solved the biggest issues. Lewis Hamilton has since suggested there was a dispute over the team’s direction with the seven-time champion apparently in disagreement.

He said: “Last year, I told them the issues that are with the car. Like, I’ve driven so many cars in my life, so I know what a car needs, I know what a car doesn’t need.

“And I think it’s really about accountability, it’s about owning up and saying ‘yeah, you know what, we didn’t listen to you, it’s not where it needs to be and we’ve got to work.’”

But, the team arrived in Bahrain way off the pace with Wolff finally accepting the model had to be changed. The team had set the first European race at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as the debut for their new features.

The cancellation of the race in Imola means the new parts will be fitted for the first time at this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix. The team boss has confirmed a series of aerodynamic tweaks will be made including a new floor and new front suspension.

Wolff stressed that the changes were unlikely to be a “silver bullet” as he dialled down expectations. But he stressed it would help solve the “poisonous” machine which has seen the squad drop below Aston Martin.

He added: “What we’re doing is we’re introducing a new bodywork, and we’re introducing a new floor and we’re doing a new front suspension and that’s pretty large. That’s a pretty large operation. Large surgery. It’s going to be a lot of learning in the virtual world, where it is good lap time.”

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