Why Wolff is ‘excited’ by McLaren’s progress as Merc look to improve

McLaren moved ahead of Mercedes in the F1 pecking order last time out at the British Grand Prix as Lando Norris out-paced Lewis Hamilton to finish second.

It would have been a double-podium for McLaren had it not been for an untimely Safety Car which allowed Hamilton to jump Oscar Piastri.

Mercedes have made moderate progress throughout F1 2023, with their revised front wing introduced at Silverstone the latest in a long-line of recent upgrades.

They’re still waiting to see the full impact of the new front wing, with Hungary a better test of it given the circuit’s tight and twisty nature.

Speaking after the race at Silverstone, Wolff explained why McLaren and Aston Martin’s rapid progress gives Mercedes optimism for the future.

“Why it is exciting to see the McLaren bounce back is that you can within a season, fair enough they had much more wind tunnel time, but in any case, coming with upgrades which completely changed the performance of the car,” he said. 

“We are not talking about two tenths up and down, but we are talking about a second. And that’s good for the sport that if you do the right things and put things together, we’ve seen it with the Aston Martin year-to-year, we’ve seen it with the McLaren now during the year, and I like it.”

Wolff seemed to echo Hamilton’s thoughts that championship position for Mercedes is irrelevant if progress is being made ahead of 2024.

“Yeah I think we’ve seen that major step that Aston Martin was able to bring, and now McLaren,” he said. “We have been fighting with the car since a year and a half, trying to do performance but it’s just chipping away at those small gains, rather than to do such a step. 

“But I really see the positives, because fundamentally I don’t care whether we finish second or third. It’s important to find our way back to fighting for victories and the world championship. 

“And whilst podiums make us really happy to see that the car has potential, fundamentally all eyes are on the big prize and that’s why it’s exciting to see that McLaren was able to find a second.”

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