Mercedes F1 overachieved in 2013 by taking second in the Formula 1 constructors’ championship, asserts its motorsport chief Toto Wolff.
After an often frustrating first three years in F1, the modern incarnation of the Mercedes factory team was regularly Red Bull’s closest challenger this season.
Drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg claimed eight pole positions, won three times and added nine podiums collectively. The team scored six podiums over its previous three campaigns. Wolff admitted that such a leap was more than Mercedes anticipated going into the year.
“I think being in second position in the championship, we definitely overachieved in terms of what our target was,” he said. “We could not expect that kind of glide path from fifth to second – and throughout the season being solidly second was not to be expected.”
He put the rapid progress down to Mercedes gelling after several years of restructuring and ramping up its technical resources and personnel lineup.
“It is the result of many things,” said Wolff. “It is the result of having the right group of people working together; working with each other; having the right resources in Stuttgart. As a team this feels complete.”
He acknowledged that Mercedes’ 2013 success now raised the bar for ’14.
“We have set the expectations higher now by being second in the championship,” Wolff said. “It is about what is coming next and we have to keep the momentum — that is important.”