Toto Wolff says it is an exciting time for Formula 1 in 2022 as new aero regulations come into effect, meaning a completely new start and an uncertain pecking order going into the opening round of the season.
The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team introduced an extreme-looking W13 update to the test at the Bahrain International Circuit last week, with the sidepods of their 2022 machine almost non-existent compared to any of their rivals.
Wolff, the Team Principal at Mercedes, says plenty of progress was made with the development of the W13 in both the tests at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and in Bahrain, and he feels there is still a lot of potential to unlock from the car this year.
“The start of a new Formula One season is always exciting, and this year more than most,” said Wolff. “With new technical and sporting regulations, there is so much to learn and discover as this new season begins.
“Barcelona was a productive first test of the W13, then we brought a big update to Bahrain for the pre-season test which resulted from a huge effort by the whole team. We completed good mileage, had solid reliability, and learned a lot about our new car, but it was not a straightforward three days for us.
“We tried plenty of set-up options and made good progress in understanding our limitations, and there’s still plenty of room for us to improve further. There is a lot of potential to unlock in the W13, and we know how much we relish the challenge of understanding the car and extracting the maximum from it, and this will be our focus for the coming days, weeks and months.”
Lewis Hamilton will have a new team-mate in 2022 in the form of George Russell, who comes in as a replacement for the Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN bound Valtteri Bottas, and Wolff is excited to see where his new driver line-up will be in the competitive order come Sunday evening under the lights in Bahrain when Formula 1 2022 gets underway.
“It’s hard to say exactly where we’ll fit in the competitive order this weekend in Bahrain, but that’s what makes this new season and new era so exciting,” he said. “It’s a clean slate for everyone and all to play for.
“Like we always say, what we love about F1 is that the stopwatch never lies – and we will get our first understanding of the competitive truth on Saturday in qualifying. I’m excited to see what the weekend has in store…”