“I think the lag is probably between six and 12 months because that’s the time it really took for us to figure out what was actually happening with the  car,” Wolff told media in Jeddah.
“That means we just need to double the development speed, a stronger development slope which the logic and rationale speaks for it, that we could have it. Red Bull’s gains are going to be incrementally smaller if their concept is mature.
“Aero-wise, wind tunnel time can help a bit but not hugely, and we’ve just got to get our act together.
“If we fundamentally understand where we need to put the car, then the steps are going to be large, but we need to be perfect.”
Despite the impact of the cost cap, Wolff is still optimistic that Red Bull can be caught and overhauled.
“Well, that is a risk,” Wolff began when asked by RacingNews365.comif he feared Red Bull being untouchable before the 2026 rules reset.
“But this is a cost cap World Championship, this is a technical World Championship and a sporting World Championship, and we will look at all the angles that there is in order to optimize our relative performance to Red Bull to give them a good run for their money.”
March 27, 2023
(GMM) Toto Wolff says he’s not thinking of quitting just because Mercedes stuck with a flawed car concept for two consecutive seasons.
The 51-year-old has flirted with stepping down as team boss in the past, but he says the support from his own bosses at Mercedes is still strong.
“We’ve been through all the ups and downs and there’s not a millimeter of doubt,” Wolff told Speed Week.
“There’s so much support from them to get us back on track. We couldn’t ask for better support,” the Austrian added.
So while other teams have made big personnel changes recently to address performance issues, Wolff insists he is actually enjoying the challenge of a fightback.
“I really enjoy being the team leader of this team,” he said. “I think I can make my contribution.
“But if one day I come to that conclusion – or if people close to me tell me I’m not contributing – then I’ll consider passing the baton to someone else. I wouldn’t be ashamed of that,” Wolff added.
“Then I would criticize from the sidelines, from a TV screen, and know better than everyone else. But until then I think I’ll keep enjoying it.”
However, Wolff has received criticism for essentially writing off the championship so early in the season.
But he says he’s just being realistic.
“We’ve only completed two races this year,” he told Sky Deutschland. “But is it realistic that we’ll soon be attacking right at the front when we look at the gaps now?
“No, it’s not.”