With a $49,000,000 Bait Hanging, Toto Wolff Sends a Cautionary Message for Lewis Hamilton About Mercedes’ Impending Upgrades

The Monaco GP is right around the corner and Mercedes is ready to field its first set of changes. While that made headlines throughout this week and last, there was another bombshell that took fans by surprise. Word came in that Ferrari made a $49 million offer to Lewis Hamilton to jump ship after the end of the 2023 season. That had to send chills down the Mercedes management’s spine. While they are still trying to get a hold of this situation, team boss Toto Wolff has hit them with another brutal reality check.

Hamilton is currently in his final year of contract with Mercedes. The Briton, 38, is pretty obviously hanging into the sport just for the sake of that one final championship that will make him an 8-time world champion. Going by the way the Silver Arrows are performing since last year, chances of that happening anytime soon are pretty slim. However, a generous offer from Ferrari, the team that finished runner-up last year, could change his fortunes.

Toto Wolff drops a truth bomb over Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

The Monaco GP will see a revamped W-14, Mercedes’ 2023 car. The new car will feature some extensive work done on aerodynamics, the floor of the car, and a changed front suspension. Even the zero-pod design of the side pods is gone. As Hamilton recently talked about being excited about the upgrades and “counting the days” before the car hits the tarmac, Toto Wolff has put a dampener on his hopes.

Commenting during the preview of Mercedes for the Monaco GP, Wolff said, “There will be no magic button. From my experience in Formula 1, that does not exist. I hope the drivers have a more stable and predictable platform and then have a good base for the weeks and months ahead. Formula 1 is meritocracy and the competition is very tough. We are not where we want to be, but it is all about working hard to get back on top.”

Mercedes was actually planning on fielding their new upgrades for the race in Imola. However, owing to the cancellation of the Grand Prix after the devastating floods in the region of Emilia-Romagna, had to postpone its plans. Experts suggest they wait for another week.

Why Mercedes is being advised to delay running its upgrade package

Ferrari too is ready to bring in an extensive set of changes. However, they are waiting to hit the ground running with it until the Spanish GP. That is because the Monaco Street circuit is not the best track to get genuine feedback on numbers from. The straights are not long enough. Sections of the track are covered from either or all sides. That hampers the collection of data.

Former F1 driver, Jolyon Palmer, on F1’s Monaco GP preview show, said, “That’s the thing about Monaco, it’s not the place to bring upgrades. The track is so different to anything else. So far, we’ve only had low or medium downforce circuits.”

“Then you’re adding new components in and there’s the highest chance to crash of anywhere on the calendar and then you might just destroy them before you get the chance to race them.”

The pictures of the upgraded W14 have already come out. It does not look like the Silver Arrows are willing to wait until the Spanish GP. Toto’s comments aren’t giving any positive signs either. How long do you think Hamilton will be able to keep patience?