Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2022

Wolff puts Mercedes’ odds of championship victory at “two to eight”

2022 F1 Season

Posted on

| Written by

Mercedes’ chances of winning the championship are not good at present, team principal Toto Wolff admitted, but could change quickly if they can unlock more performance from their car.

“I think we’re on the back foot,” assessed Wolff at the Australian Grand Prix. “If I look at it from a mathematical standpoint, in probability, I would probably say that the odds are two to eight.

“But this is motor racing and in motor racing, anything can happen. Teams can DNF and if we unlock the potential of the car, we are right back in the game.

“So, as a motor racer, I would say it’s probably 40-60. As a mathematician, the odds are worse against us but third race into the season, we’re not going to write the title off. It’s just the current status quo, we are seven-tenths off.”

Mercedes still have fundamental problems with their car, largely to do with ‘porpoising’, which they are seeking to solve. “There is a gremlin in our car, a few gremlins that we haven’t found yet,” he said. “And that’s something that we need to continue to analyse and look at the data. It’s science, it’s physics, not mistakes.”

Nevertheless, he believes the team would “get it nailed on with this car, as well,” over the course of the season as others have done.

“You can see that many other teams, like Ferrari still have some bouncing, but they have done many other things right, that we missed out on or that we that we didn’t perform very well.

“Same for Red Bull. Their car got quick from one day to the other in Bahrain testing by bringing the update.”

Mercedes’ W13 has proved “very difficult to correlate” between their simulations and real-world running. “You can only move the car with a certain frequency in the wind tunnel where it’s just limited and on track, it does something completely different.

“So this is a new way of analysing the aero data is a new way of correlation between the simulations and the real world, which needs to be understood. We have the tools and the people to understand that. But we haven’t found that yet.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2022 F1 season

Browse all 2022 F1 season articles

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

38 comments on “Wolff puts Mercedes’ odds of championship victory at “two to eight””

  1. Do you really finish and submit these articles at 7 in the morning? I admire your work ethic.

    1. They actually made at least an article around 5.30 for the australian gp! On topic, finally a reasonable comment for wolff, 2\8 are fairly low chances but considering ferrari’s development history you never know.

      1. Yeah, but personally I put the odds at one in four………

    2. More likely written ahead of time and scheduled to release

    3. I have an opinion
      16th April 2022, 1:10

      According to Toto, closer to 7:58.
      Two to eight

      I’ll see myself out.

  2. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
    15th April 2022, 8:13

    Phrased in that way, I’d say the the odds are only 4-1 that Toto is betting man.

    Merc only need to lose the porpoising (or maybe I should say tortoising) and some some weight (how heavy do you reckon Lewis’s jewellery is?) and they will start winning.

    I think the odds are better than he says.

    1. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk I think the driver and seat are weighed together and must meet a minimum threshold. So whatever few grams his jewellery weigh would be added to the seat anyway if he were to remove it.

      1. Whoosh

        1. To be fair, the chances of getting that joke were 16 to 4.

          1. The chance to make a joke about Lewis is practically 0

  3. So much for the infamous Mercedes sandbagging ! If Mercedes had a 40% chance of winning the title, that would leave only about 30% each for Ferrari and Red Bull.

    1. You may believe TW or not (I would never) but he says odss are 1 to 4, that’s 20% for Merc and 80% for the rest. You seem to exclude all but Fezza & RBR and give equal chances to both, (ok, but then RBR needs to improve reliability), that gives them 40% each.

      1. I think you are right, but TW’s math is a bit hard to understand. What is that “40-60” refering to ? Do they have a 50% chance to unlock the car potential and be in the mix with a 40% chance ? Maybe I am making too much of those R**-extracted odds anyway.

    2. After RB’s losses turned into Merc’s fortunes I’d say Merc has a 3/4 chance of winning the title. A lot of weight to cut, they have already managed to cut 3kg via politics and a wheezing Pu that is surely not entirely the spec they intend to use for the rest of the season. They have 1.5s on the back pocket.

  4. If any team can make rapid and dramatic improvements then I would say Merc are one of those teams.
    It looks like we could have an interesting fight at the front anyway but it would be even better with Lewis and George grabbing podium spots at random.

    1. Merc team was the one who always was good at making better cars at later stages, look at 2018-19 where they have beaten ferrari and 2021 where they became much better in brazil out of nowhere, so I think toto is relying in that. But consudering the fact tgat many good people left merc I recon they will struggle this year to repeat those again. Considering the fact they got it wrong this year that would mean current management really didnt know who were doing the good job, so management failed. They should have kept best engineers and increase their pay and let newcomers go.

  5. I think they only need one improvement to be competitive – solve the porpoising, run the car lower to add downforce, lose some wing to add straight line speed and they’re in the game…
    They certainly have the brain power to solve it, do they have the time and budget?

  6. Even at 2/8 he’s more bullish than the bookies who give them (best odds) 1/8.

  7. Not if the Race Director decides to ban Hamilton until he takes his piercings out and jewelry off.
    Especially the “threats” that Toto made could trigger the FIA to do just that.

    1. Be odd if the RD does as from what I can find out so far its always been either a warning or very small fine which some chose to pay rather then remove items. The bigger fines are for non regulation underwear which was also raised by the RD which doesn’t seem to have gained much traction given a number of drivers clearly don’t wear what the RD said they should be.
      Would be interesting in respect of a Ham ban though; ignoring precedent to make an example of one driver whilst having no intention of ever policing the rule fairly. i.e. checking for metal underneath the suit.

      Although if you read everything Ham as said he has left the door open to remove that which can be removed, and not completely ruled out having some cut off.

  8. He’s clearly not a gambling man, or mathematician as 2/8 is definitely more commonly known as 1/4.
    I’d definitely have them at worse odds!

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      15th April 2022, 14:39

      @eurobrun 2 to 8 just sounds lower than 1 to 4. That’s why you’re not Toto:)

    2. Or what he’s really sayiing is he has 2 drivers in the top 8 drivers.

      If he had said 1 in 4, im sure there would be headlines about him favoring one of his drivers over the other.

      1. RandomMallard
        16th April 2022, 8:26

        That’s a clever way of looking at it actually. Hadn’t thought of it like that. Putting it in the context of 2 drivers does actually make sense now.

  9. They seem to be in a better position than Redbull at the moment. So it may come down to who can fix their problems first, so they can then maybe chase Ferrari down.

    1. @johnrkh However, as Horner has said, and he’s certainly not the first F1’er over the decades to say it, it is better to have to make a fast car reliable than to have to make a slow reliable car faster.

      Of course it all remains to be seen, but from what enough people are saying, by my observation at least, Mercedes is needing to go back to the drawing board somewhat, and given the caps and all that, they are going to have to take some chances that their new floor is going to work with the other components they add at various times and vis versa etc etc. It just doesn’t sound like Mercedes are that one tweak away from finding magic, and rather they have some more serious issues than that.

      RBR on the other hand seem to have a fuel line or fuel flow or what have you issue, and for now that is ‘all’ they have to solve and they are otherwise a good thorn in Ferrari’s side and no doubt are the team of concern for them, not Mercedes and what they may or may not be able to do over the next numerous races. RBR are the ones that could start robbing Ferrari (CL) of their points run in the very next race.

      1. @robbie Well besides the obvious finishing record which puts Merc objectively in a better position. The Redbull is reportedly 10 KG heavier than the Ferrari. Which I believe gives Redbull a 3/10s handicap per lap approximately.
        How can they fix that, cut one of Verstappen’s legs off? They’re not going to get that out of the car easily.
        Also if it’s true that Ferrari and Mercedes have more potential in their PUs while Honda hasn’t. Is something that may very well play further into Ferraris and Mercedes’s hands as the season goes on.

        1. @johnrkh As I say of course it all has to play out, but from what I have read RBR may have solved their fuel line/flow/whatever issue. If that is the case then there is no evidence to support the suggestion that Mercedes will be in a better position than RBR this coming weekend and for the near future until Mercedes figures a lot of things out.

          Apparently all cars are overweight, but of course you conveniently ignore that it is Mercedes’ reality too, and you fail to ask whose limb they will cut off there, and all of the teams are working on reducing weight while they do the other developments that they have to carefully select due to the caps. RBR has a plan in place to do just that, so to say they are reportedly 10kg heavier than Ferrari may or may not be the case today, but may well be different come this weekend. Granted RBR have said that they will not bring the more major upgrades that they have in store to Imola because of the lesser practice time due to it being a Sprint weekend. Suffice it to say whatever the actual real life weight difference between the cars today, that will likely be different this weekend and for the coming races as well. It is rather silly to suggest RBR have no more options to reduce weight, and yes it goes without saying it is obviously not easy for any of the teams, hence FIA even increased the minimum weight from 795kg to 798kg because all teams are struggling to get down to that weight.

          “if it’s true that Ferrari and Mercedes have more potential in their PUs while Honda hasn’t.” I’d be interested in reading/hearing the article/expertise you got that from as I think you are the only one saying this because you seem to have it stuck in your head that there are issues at Honda/RBR wrt IP and/or money that simply does not seem to be talked about other than by you.

          For now I would say that so far we have seen Mercedes struggling, and the other Mercedes powered cars haven’t been setting the world on fire either, although Mac seems to be ascending a bit and it will be interesting to see if we finally have a customer team best a works factory team. Anyhow, I’m sure this is more about you trying to talk RBR and their chances down, and trying to talk Mercedes up even though they seem lost. I’m sure Mercedes would love to be as competitive as RBR and Ferrari are right now. If it is as you assume, or at least like to try to sell, that Mercedes has ‘more potential’ in their PU, well they better get a move on with their car then for they are squandering it.

          1. @robbie

            but of course you conveniently ignore that it is Mercedes’ reality too, and you fail to ask whose limb they will cut off there,

            Hamilton only needs to remove some jewellery :)

          2. @johnrkh lol and depending on which pieces, think of the lowering of the CG, not just the weight saving. He’ll be faster but poor guy won’t feel nearly as cool while at speed.

  10. SomeoneFromBelgium
    15th April 2022, 10:47

    It’s done!
    Just solve every issue (porpoising, weight, downforce, straight line speed) and they have a perfect car!
    Sorry Sham but I think it’s obvious that there is a whole lot of stuff that needs to be fixed on this car.

  11. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    15th April 2022, 14:07

    In 5-6 races, Mercedes will turn the engine to standard levels and start lapping everyone :-)

    1. Yes, I ignore all the predictions, promises and insider leaks. I’m waiting for the first ‘See, I told you they were sandbagging’ comment on here to know they are truly back at the front.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        15th April 2022, 14:40

        Happy to oblige:)

    2. The speed difference of Perez’s during his pass on Lewis with no DRS was painful to watch. Even if the engine is trash it’s not the end of the world as long as the chassis at least ends up being excellent.

  12. Sounds like Masi did eventually teach Toto what motor racing is lol

    1. Masi was crook, teams started to complain about the inconsistency from the first races and it built up like that. He was too confident and made many mistakes, and tried to shove the blame to stewards.

      People are just happy after those 8 years of torture that they had, that explains that much hate against toto.

Comments are closed.