Mercedes has “a Mt Everest to climb” to catch Red Bull in 2024 – Wolff

Mercedes has “a Mount Everest to climb to catch up with Red Bull” in 2024, says team principal Toto Wolff.

Red Bull won all but one of the 22 races this season, with set-up issues in Singapore limiting Max Verstappen to fifth place and leaving Carlos Sainz to claim the only non-Red Bull victory of the year. While four teams – including Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren and Aston Martin – finished second on different occasions, Wolff says the fact Mercedes was the most consistent of the quartet doesn’t mask how big the deficit is that needs closing over the winter.

“When you win P2 it reminds you that you lost P1,” Wolff said. “We need to take it on the chin, be humble about it and consider [securing P2] as a good day. Nevertheless, there is a Mount Everest to climb to catch up with Red Bull.


“I have no doubt that McLaren is going to be right in the mix next year, maybe Aston Martin, maybe others insofar as we must leave no stone unturned, which we do in Brixworth and in Brackley. As tough as it is to be reminded that it is just P2, it’s also a great, great opportunity to come back and strive for the stars.”

Although Wolff believes it will be tough to beat Max Verstappen and Red Bull without a regulation change, he does take hope from the big steps that others have been able to deliver over the past 12 months.

“Red Bull has started these regulations in 2022 with a massive advantage and have been able to retain it,” he said. “We need to have a lot of respect for their achievement in the engineering side and the driver, and beating them under the current regulations is against the odds, that’s clear.

“At the same time, we have seen with McLaren an update unlocked a second of lap time and with AlphaTauri coming strong at the end and Aston Martin over the winter, there is a key to unlock dramatically more performance.

“I think us making this honest assessment that this car is never going to be good enough to fight for the championship [is important], and we have taken the decision in spring that we have got to go back to the drawing board and come up with something new next year. But Mount Everest is in front of us.”

Story originally appeared on Racer