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Toto Wolff: Mercedes face uphill battle for improvement

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has voiced cautious optimism about the F1 team's prospects for improvement in the wake of a challenging start to the 2024 season.

After six races, Mercedes finds itself in an uncharacteristic fourth place in the constructors' championship, prompting concerns and assessments about their performance trajectory.

Wolff acknowledges that implementing the lessons learned from the early races will be a gradual process, estimating that "several races" will be needed before tangible improvements are seen on track. 

The Brackley-based team has struggled to match the pace of rivals, particularly Red Bull, and has yet to secure a podium finish this season.

The Mercedes W14 car has faced persistent issues, showcasing intermittent bursts of competitiveness amid overall inconsistency. 

In the most recent race, Lewis Hamilton managed to stay within the DRS range of Sergio Perez after a Safety Car period, but the team still fell short of challenging for a higher position.

Looking ahead to the upcoming race at Imola, Wolff remains pragmatic despite the introduction of new updates to the car. 

He cautions against expecting a significant leap in performance just yet, indicating that the team is still working through the complexities of refining their car's performance.

"We are now one quarter of the way through the season," said Wolff. 

"The first six races have not been straightforward, but we have built a clear understanding of where we need to improve and shaped a clear path forward to tackle that.

"It will be several races before we see this bear fruit, but everyone is working hard to bring them as soon as is possible. In the meantime, we will be looking to maximise the package we have.

"We are bringing some more updates to Imola and hopefully they push us in the right direction."

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