Mercedes W15 gets first test as Toto Wolff hints return to top for Lewis Hamilton – “Finally feels like a car after two years”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff seems as happy as he has been in the last couple of years after sharing an early update about the W15, giving fans plenty of reason to be optimistic ahead of the upcoming season.

Toto Wolff, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton. Credit: planetf1.com
Toto Wolff, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton. Credit: planetf1.com

Speaking with The Telegraph, Wolff discussed how development driver Anthony Davidson tried out the W15 on the team’s simulator and his initial report on what the Silver Arrows can expect.

What Davidson had to say will certainly be met with a great deal of excitement from both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, as it signals Mercedes’ first realistic chance of closing the gap and competing with Red Bull.

“He was driving Melbourne [in the sim],” Wolff said.

“And he said: ‘The car feels like a car for the first time in two years…’”

Wolff was careful not to get too ahead of himself after the hopeless performances put in by Mercedes in the last couple of years after a period of dominance in the sport.

“Obviously I would love this to correlate to the track, but we’ve seen in the last two years that this was not always the case,” Wolff said. 

Mercedes announces release date for W15

The Mercedes W15 will be launched on 14 February at Silverstone.

While there had been some doubt over Wolff’s future at the team, the Austrian boss confirmed that he has signed a three-year contract extension.

“I think the most important thing between the three of us [Mercedes owners] is that we trust each other. At the end of the day, as a shareholder myself, I want the best return on investment,” he said.

“And the best return on investment is winning. I’m not going to try to hang on to a position that I think somebody is going to do better than me.

“I make sure that I have people around who can tell me otherwise. In the end, the three of us decided: ‘Let’s do it again’.”

Read more: Axed Red Bull driver displays demons of the past in woeful return to world of motorsport – “Still have a bit of catching up to do”

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