We are much closer to the front, says Wolff

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Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff sounded a positive note after the tactical Monaco Grand Prix, claiming that his outfit has taken a step forward with the latest upgrades with further developments set to arrive for the W15 in the coming races.

Mercedes has had an up-and-down season so far in 2024. Although the team has shown flashes of encouraging performance, mainly in practice sessions, qualifings and races have seen Mercedes slip down the pecking order. However, Monaco marked the first race of the season where Mercedes could display similar speed to the field-leading Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull on which team boss Toto Wolff pins hopes as far as the rest of the season is concerned.

"Overall, we’ve had a positive weekend. We were much closer than we have been in Qualifying so far this year and showed good pace throughout the race. That was despite the first lap red flag which took away many of our strategy options.

"We opted to switch to the Medium compound tyres under that red flag and both George and Lewis did a good job to manage them throughout. Lewis didn’t need to make a stop, but we were able to box him and secure the point for fastest lap.

Toto Wolff is aware of what Mercedes needs to improve with its W15, claiming that the balance of the car still needs to be fine-tuned in the coming races.

"The trajectory is going in the right direction. We’ve understood where we need to improve the balance car and we’re bringing updates to enhance that. We know there will be ups and downs depending on the circuits we go to but overall, I am happy with the development direction. Let’s see how we perform in Canada," added Wolff.

Speaking of the race and Mercedes' strategy in the 78-lap Monaco round, Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin said: "We opted for an alternative strategy by starting both cars on the Hard tyre. There were pros and cons to this; a red flag or Safety Car intervention after the front four had stopped would have provided an opportunity to get both cars on the podium. However, a lap one red flag would prove awkward. This is exactly what befell us as the race got underway.

"We were therefore in a situation where we had to try and get to the end on the Medium tyre. Most cars were doing a fair bit of management, so this was relatively easy to handle in the end.

"George seemed to have good pace in the closing stages and was able to defend well against Max and it was encouraging to see the improvements we made in our long run since Friday. The stop with Lewis towards the end wasn't necessary from a tyre point of view, but it did give us an opportunity to take an extra point for fastest lap.

Shovlin took delight from his team's performance on the narrow streets of Monaco, claiming that the upgrades helped the Brackley-based outfit make a step forward.

"Overall, the weekend was another indication that we are moving in the right direction. We were just 25 milliseconds off P3 in Qualifying, which is an annoying margin to miss out on a likely podium by.

"That said, a few weeks ago we couldn't even talk about podiums. We'll have both cars on the latest updates in Montreal with a few additional bits on top. We'll keep working hard and hopefully better results are not far away," Shovlin concluded.