After winning eight consecutive constructors’ championships, Mercedes found itself struggling to compete under the new technical regulations for 2022 as it struggled to resolve a seaworthiness issue with its car.
Mercedes F1 boss Wolff has always emphasized the importance of learning from setbacks and difficult periods as part of his driving style.
But he made no secret of how difficult it has been to manage the wide swings of emotion in the team this season.
“The truth is that it hurts so much and it’s so difficult to live up to your values and doubts,” Wolff told Motorsport.com, looking back on Mercedes’ season so far.
“You swing from depressed to upbeat and then the next day it’s the other way around. And so when you think that nothing you’re doing is working, [it is] a bit of Groundhog Day.
“Then you take steps forward by looking atjuge.
“Everything I’ve preached, everything you read in books, that it’s so hard, it’s so important to lose in order to thrive. It’s just lived in real life so far.”
George Russell, Mercedes W13, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13
Photo: Drew Gibson / Images of motor sports
Mercedes’ performance levels improved throughout the season, leading to its current run of six races in a row with a car on the podium, including double podiums in France and Hungary.
Russell also managed to score pole for Mercedes in Hungary, showing the progress he has made with the W13 car going into the second half of the year.
Mercedes road engineering director Andrew Shaolin told Motorsport.com that the team decided against short-term fixes to the pork problem, believing the longevity of the rules meant it needed to take the pain at the start of the season to make sure the issues were fully understood.
When asked if he agreed with the fact that it is worth going through short-term pain, Wolff replied: “I would rather not be there.
“We managed to expand. Some things are more trivial than you think. Other things were important to get on top [such as] porpoises, which are gone today.
“From an engineering point of view, it was definitely valuable. But for all of us, from a human point of view, a professional person, it was very difficult.
“Because when the best engineers don’t really understand why the data doesn’t match reality, it’s not easy.
“You’re lost. But it’s not a feeling of total loss. But how long do you think it will take to figure it out? Because we have next season coming up. You say, “we need to get in addition to this quickly because next season’s car has to get out of the blocks.”