Positive Feedback for Mercedes W15: A Promising Sign for 2024

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, has received encouraging initial feedback from simulator driver Anthony Davidson on the W15.


By Ben Bush
Published on January 15, 2024

Positive Feedback for Mercedes W15

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, known for his measured optimism, recently received uplifting news from the team’s simulator driver, Anthony Davidson. Davidson’s first impressions of the W15 are notably positive, describing it as “feeling like a car”, a stark contrast to its predecessors.

The past few seasons have been challenging for Mercedes following the major overhaul of the Formula 1 rulebook for the 2022 season, which introduced ground-effect cars. This change disrupted the once-dominant Silver Arrows’ momentum, leaving them trailing behind the trophy-dominant Red Bull team.

READ MORE: Toto Wolff Commits to Mercedes F1 with New Three-Year Contract

The 2023 season proved particularly disheartening for Mercedes, as the team experienced its first winless year since 2011. However, there is renewed hope that the newly designed W15 will mark a turning point, bringing Mercedes back into the championship contention for the 2024 F1 season. Early indications suggest a promising start.

Mercedes’ 2024 F1 car finally feels right, says simulator driver

In a conversation with the Telegraph, Wolff relayed insights from Anthony Davidson, Mercedes’ simulator driver and a former F1 racer himself.

Davidson’s feedback was undoubtedly positive. The W15 appears to be a vastly improved contender, showing potential that has been missing in the team’s recent designs. This early feedback from Davidson is a hopeful sign for Mercedes as they prepare to reassert their position in the competitive world of Formula 1 in 2024.

“He was driving Melbourne [in the sim],” said Wolff of Davidson.

“And he said: ‘The car feels like a car for the first time in two years…’”

Wolff, however, remains cautiously reserved, with the challenging experiences of the 2022 and 2023 seasons still vivid in his memory, preventing any premature excitement.

“Obviously I would love this to correlate to the track, but we’ve seen in the last two years that this was not always the case,” Wolff admitted.

Despite the challenges, Wolff is fully committed to leading Mercedes back to the top in Formula 1. In the same interview, he confirmed a three-year contract extension as Mercedes’ F1 chief. Both Wolff and the team’s co-owners, INEOS and Daimler, believe in his ability to steer the team forward, making his continued leadership a natural choice.

“I think the most important thing between the three of us is that we trust each other,” said Wolff, referring to INEOS boss Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Mercedes chairman Ola Källenius.

“At the end of the day, as a shareholder myself, I want the best return on investment. And the best return on investment is winning.

“I’m not going to try to hang on to a position that I think somebody is going to do better than me. I make sure that I have people around who can tell me otherwise. In the end the three of us decided: ‘Let’s do it again’.”

Since 2013, Toto Wolff has been leading the Mercedes team, a role he assumed after transitioning from the Williams team, where he previously held a shareholder position. During his tenure at Mercedes, Wolff has played a pivotal role in shaping the team’s strategy and success. His leadership has been marked by a series of strategic decisions and innovations that have significantly influenced Mercedes’ performance in the competitive world of Formula 1. His expertise, garnered from his time with Williams, has been instrumental in driving Mercedes to new heights, underscoring his adeptness in team management and his deep understanding of motorsports dynamics.

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About The Author

Chief Editor

Ben Bush

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

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