Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff is hopeful that his team will see fewer setup issues with the new W09, the successor to Mercedes’ “diva” championship-winning car, the W08.
Mercedes faced tough competition from Ferrari en route to a successful retention of the drivers’ and constructors’ championships in 2018, not helped by the temperamental nature of their 2017 car, the W08.
Despite frequently having the fastest car in a race weekend, an inability to fine tune their car at certain tracks enabled Ferrari to mount a challenge to the Silver Arrows, before Ferrari’s dip in form in the second half of the season.
The sensitive nature of the W08 prompted team principal Wolff to label the car a “diva”.
Speaking at the launch of their 2018 car, he hoped that the weaknesses of the car’s predecessor had been resolved.
“It is always a very exciting time because what has been designed is coming together and coming alive”, said Wolff.
“It’s never going completely seamlessly or smoothly, as a matter of fact you’re trying to push the boundaries and make the car as light as possible and eventually as quick as possible.
“We’ve had a good winter, I would say, no real drama. But there is always stress within the organisation at that time of year.”
“We like some of the character traits from our diva,” Toto added, “the W08 was the fastest car on the grid, scoring the highest number of pole positions and winning the most races last year. So we were careful not to lose the car’s many strengths just to overcome the difficulties.”
Following a filming day at Silverstone, Mercedes’ first chance to assess the performance of their car will be at pre-season testing in Barcelona, with the first test beginning on Monday 26th February.