Good news at last! Wolff reveals “big steps” to W14: “We have unleashed potential”

George Russell could claim third place on the grid at the Saudi Arabian F1 Grand Prix, but Lewis Hamilton sits in a low seventh place and gave a glum response to his inability to extract performance from his 2023 machinery.

But after promising that the whole concept of the W14 needs to be rethought, Wolff has now given details on how the car will be significantly improved.

“We’re making great strides with our research and development, with our understanding in the wind tunnel,” he said.

He emphasized: “These are really big steps!”

“We just needed confirmation in Bahrain that we did it wrong, now we have it. And that’s why I would never copy anything.

“After today’s performance, is it realistic? [in Saudi Arabia qualifying] that we can talk about the World Cup? No it’s not, you’re a fool if you think like that.

“It’s also motorsport. You can never give up and if we continue with the big strides that we’ve already made in the last 10 days, then I think we’ll get to a point where we can really fight for wins.”

Explaining the W14’s upcoming advances, he said: “Big strides, in terms of relative performance, where we are now.

“The kind of gains that are being made in our R&D and then in aerodynamics are a lot bigger than they’ve been in a long time.

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“We’ve unleashed potential because we’re just looking at things from different angles now.

“We have a different perspective based on what we learned from the Bahrain Test and the Bahrain Race.

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“So there was no step back. On the contrary, it was immediately two steps forward.”

Wolff previously confirmed to Sky that Mercedes had settled on “one design philosophy” after a tense post-Bahrain meeting.

“I think the car will look very different in five, six or seven races based on the decisions we’ve made and the development direction we’ve taken,” he said.

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