The Mercedes team principal confirmed changes to the W14 would be made after George Russell and Lewis Hamilton qualified sixth and seventh at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix with an almost identical deficit as they had 12 months ago.
While many of their rivals have converged to a similar sidepod design as the one originally adopted by Red Bull in 2022, Mercedes have continued to back their unique ‘zero pod’ concept on their modified W14.
Hamilton appeared critical of the approach after a disappointing Friday, with the seven-time world champion saying it will be “quite hard with the concept we have” for Mercedes to close the gap.
And Wolff says it is now time for Mercedes to admit defeat with their distinctive concept.
“I don’t think this package is going to be competitive, eventually,” he said.
“We gave it our best go also over the winter and now we just need to all regroup, sit down with the engineers who are totally not dogmatic about anything, there is no holy cows, and decide what is the development direction we want to pursue in order to be competitive to win races.
“It’s not only like last year that you’re scoring podiums and eventually you get there. I’m sure we can win races this season but it’s really the mid- and long-term that we need to look at which decisions you need to take.”
Wolff added: “We hit our targets. That’s why we gave it out best shot. And the moment comes and the stopwatch comes out and that showed us that it’s simply not good enough. We haven’t got enough downforce and we need to find solutions to fix that.”
But Wolff stressed Mercedes will not point fingers at individuals.
“In this team we blame the problem and not the person,” he said. “And at the end I have responsibility so I would need to fire myself if I want to do something.
“We have all the ingredients to be successful. It’s people and infrastructure that won eight consecutive championships in a row and we got it wrong last year.
“We thought we can fix it while sticking to this concept of car and it didn’t work out. So we just need to switch our focus onto what we believe can be the right direction, what is it where we are missing.”