Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has joked he will stick a “Red Bull sticker” on their newly-designed car once it’s finished while refusing to give credit to their F1 rivals for finding a winning formula with their concept. Mercedes have conceded defeat with their ‘zeropod’ style with Wolff confirming earlier this month that plans are already being put in place to drastically change their car.
It’s now expected that they will follow a similar design to that of Red Bull, Aston Martin and Ferrari. It’s clear that Wolff still wants to put Mercedes ahead of Red Bull though and return to the top of the Constructors’ Championship and is setting high standards for the changes they make to their car.
“The question is what is your benchmark?” Wolff said. “If you look at the Red Bulls, they are just so quick. I think we understand the car more and I am looking optimistic for the future.
“We just need to put it in a different window, we are changing the bodywork of the car, how the floor works, and the team in Brackley is just flat out.” Nico Rosberg then made the assumption that Mercedes were moving “more towards the Red Bull and Aston Martin concept” in changing the design of their car.
Wolff responded: “I dunno if you can call it Red Bull or Aston Martin concept. At the end if it looked like an English double decker bus, we would do it if it was fast.
“Put a little Red Bull sticker on it if they want to have it on, it is about raw performance. We have no dogma about who invented it.”
Rosberg then pushed for Wolff to give a timeline on how long Hamilton and Russell would have to wait for the design changes to be implemented, but the Mercedes boss refused to give a definitive date.
“We are making big elephant steps at the moment but it is going to be a long time till we can challenge Red Bull,” he said. “It is a super fun journey to climb back.”
It ended up being a good race for Mercedes in the end following Fernando Alonso’s 10-second penalty after the Grand Prix had finished. Russell was bumped up to third while Hamilton just missed out on moving ahead of Alonso too, staying in fifth.