Toto Wolff reacts to Lewis Hamilton demands by pinpointing Mercedes

Hamilton has insisted that Mercedes require their greatest-ever six months of development to begin next season with a car capable of challenging Red Bull.

The seven-time F1 champion has signed a new deal to place his faith in Mercedes’ ability to deliver.

Team principal Wolff told OE24 about Hamilton’s words: “That’s exactly what we tell ourselves every day: the development curve must be steeper than ever. 

“We’re putting our foot down. We will only be at the front if we are able to put our car on a much better basis. 

“Because Red Bull is so far ahead, we are completely changing our car concept.”

Wolff is aware that Red Bull, having cruised through this season, will have already started thinking how to further improve their 2024 car.

“Absolutely so,” he said. 

“I know this from the years when we were so far ahead: you can start development even earlier.

“If the regulations don’t change, it will be even more difficult to catch up.”

Wolff was asked what Mercedes much change on their 2024 F1 car and he identified a key weakness.

“To put it bluntly, our car has a big problem: it swerves at the back and the drivers have no confidence when turning,” he said. 

“They need a car with which they can push again and not one in which they have to worry about flying off in every corner.”

This weekend’s F1 Qatar Grand Prix is a return to a race where Hamilton won the only previous visit in 2021.

Wolff was asked if Hamilton could win again but said: “No. With the many curves, our car is still unpredictable. 

“I expect more in Mexico or Brazil. By then I want to be fit and on site again.”

Wolff is absent this weekend in Qatar as he recovers from knee surgery.

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