F1 News: Toto Wolff Publicly Admits Mercedes’ Flaws Following Lewis Hamilton Shock Exit

Published 02/12/2024, 4:10 AM EST

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Lewis Hamilton leaving Mercedes will be the end of an era as the driver decides to walk away from the team he spent a decade in. At Mercedes, Hamilton has experienced some of the greatest achievements of his career, bringing home the World Championship title 6 times with the team. Hamilton was born with a talent that he has honed on the track and his shift away from Mercedes has been shocking, to say the least. But why leave a team that has helped you win 6 World Championships?

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For Ferrari of course! The stable of the prancing horses is one of the most alluring teams in the sport. And now with Hamilton leaving the team, Mercedes’ boss Toto Wolff is beginning to understand where the team lacked.

Toto Wolff comes clean about the team’s shortcomings

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Hamilton’s decision to leave the team came as a shock, but also a reality check for Wolff. The fact that the team lacked something led Hamilton to look elsewhere, and the Silver Boss was quick to identify the problem. In a conversation with AutoSport, as quoted by Formula Passion, Toto Wolff confessed, It didn’t go as we expected. The scenario we had in mind was: ‘It will be difficult to win the championship, we are winning races, but we know where we lack performance’. And suddenly it wasn’t like that.

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After Lewis Hamilton decided to leave the team, Wolff realized that performance was the factor that the team was lacking. This revelation can help him iron out the creases that were becoming a hurdle for the Silver Arrows. We went into 2022 with elation, because we were thrilled to have chosen an extravagant car layout. But suddenly we found ourselves in a situation where not only were the results not coming, and the smartest people didn’t understand where they went wrong.

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Wolff was direct as he said, “We got the physics wrong. It’s a ground-effect car. Our tools did not work as well as with all other previous technical regulations.” While explaining what the team did to fix the issues he said, “We had to recognize that all the data we had previously relied on was not related to what the car was doing on the track. Now we are finalizing everything that can potentially be changed to eliminate these defects.”

With all the issues identified, Mercedes can work on them and bring the best version of the WC series with the WC15. Although the Billion Dollar Man is on his way to an exit, his last season with Mercedes is something fans can expect to give everything in. With the World Championship in sight for Lewis Hamilton, the team can change, but the goal will always remain the same. For Wolff, despite the shock,

What was the first thing that Toto Wolff did upon hearing the news?

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The first thing that Wolff did was call Bono of course. Peter Bonnington has been the right-hand man of Lewis Hamilton through his years at Mercedes. After hearing the news the morning it happened, Bono was not ready to believe his ears. One of the first things to come out of his mouth was, “Toto pinch yourself, man, this is not the first of April, this is not an April Fool’s Day.” This was revealed by Eddie Jordan in his podcast Formula for Success. 

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The disbelief in the situation was evident, as the team was lost for words upon hearing the news. It must have been hard to digest, considering Lewis Hamilton has been a loyal driver for the team for over a decade. Now that he is going, the focus will turn towards George Russell and improving the machine for 2025.

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An empty seat that needs to be filled is also something that Mercedes needs to take care of. Who do you think will be the replacement for Lewis Hamilton in 2025? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Viren Mirpuri

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One take at a time

“What doesn't kill me, gives me EXP.” I'm Viren – part gaming journalist, part audio enthusiast, and a full-time gamer. Armed with a degree in Mass Media and a love for competitive gaming, I'm on a mission to redefine eSports journalism.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare

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