While appearing on the “Beyond The Grid Podcast,” Toto Wolf has hilariously replied to the team’s detractors with the statement that they “Didn’t Suddenly Take A Stupid Pill” – they simply got the concept of the W13 wrong which affected the Mercedes Results in 2022.
Toto Wolff has frankly stated that after achieving a record-breaking eight years at the top of the sport, they didn’t suddenly “take a stupid pill with the W13.” They made mistakes in the design of the W13, which they felt held much promise, but ultimately failed.
After the disastrous loss of the drivers’ championship in 2021, there was everything to play for to regain it in 2022. They were working hard on remaining at the top with the new regulations for 2022 but instead found themselves mired in trying to correct the porpoising and other issues.
What Went Wrong With The Mercedes Results In 2022?
After their humbling fall down the winning order, the team has had to take a hard look to find the way back. There was a small glimmer of hope in the last quarter of the season with George Russel winning the Brazilian Grand Prix, but it was very much too little, too late.
Mercedes described the W13 as a “diva” and an “onion” (because there were so many layers of problems to resolve. Toto said they will store the car in a special “somewhere at the back of the collection!”
Could the Mercedes Results In 2022 Improved Making Them Beat Ferrari?
The good news was that Mercedes made the most progress in the last part of the season, and if the form had been in place at the beginning, they would arguably have beaten Ferrari to second place.
Unfortunately, understanding the problems and generating the fixes did not come fast enough, and it was only during the second last race that George could triumph. Sao Paulo.
When he participated in the “Beyond The Grid Podcast,” In typical Toto style, he was candid in his admission, saying simply that “We got it wrong,”
And went on to say,
- “I think even the best people can get it wrong.”
- We got the concept wrong.”
- “We underestimated the effect when running the car very low, and others have done a better job .”
- And in a masterclass in leadership, he joined the collective team in taking the blame – “But in the organization, nobody is shy to say that we’ve done a bad job here. Very easy. There is no hiding, no seeking an explanation of how we ended up there. I mean, all of us are saying we got this wrong, and others got it right.”
Where are The Zero Pods To Blame For The Mercedes Results in 2022?
When Mercedes revealed the zero-pods, there was a lot of conjecture that this was part of the issue. The theory being bandied around was that the new design reduced the floor’s structural rigidity, causing greater flexing affected the Mercedes Results in 2022.
In turn, this caused the airflow to stall, resulting in a loss of suction. Toto has firmly rejected this and said he is proud of the design.
- “When you look at the narrow sidepod concept, which had absolutely nothing to do with the car not performing, I’m proud of how we found the design and put it on the car.”
He also acknowledged the areas the team got right.
- “And then there are many other areas that were really good.”
- “A power unit that has really done us well throughout the season and reliability was great too.”
- “And also, on the chassis side. I think we had a high peak downforce, we just couldn’t run the car where we would be able to generate that.”
Where To From Here For Mercedes?
Of the future Toto has the follow to say
- “you have to fail and get it wrong to prosper”
- “At the end, it comes back to the sentence, ‘The days we lose are the days our competitors will regret’, because we learn the most. Hopefully the future will be proof of that.”
Besides a disastrous car in 2022 that they affected the Mercedes Results in 2022, Mercedes has the ingredients to get back to the top.
- They have proven leadership.
- Arguably the best driver combination.
- An enormously qualified and experienced engineering team.
- A proven engine.
- Facilities to match.
Given time they will almost certainly be back in contention.
The question on every Mercedes fan’s mind is whether they will get in right in 2023/2025 or if they will have to wait for the new regulations in 2026 for the team to regain its mojo.