Published On: Tue, Apr 16th, 2024

Toto Wolff left hurting as Lewis Hamilton and George Russell struggles cost Mercedes £5.9m | F1 | Sport

Toto Wolff has personally taken a hit off the back of Mercedes’ on-track struggles over the past year with the Silver Arrows recording a £5.9million drop in their profits. The eight-time world champions published their accounts for the 2023 season ahead of this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.

It isn’t all bad news for Wolff though, as the accounts published by Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd. revealed that for the first time in F1 history, a team had earned a turnover in excess of £500m. The German constructor brought in £546.5m in total during the 2023 campaign, despite only managing a second-place Constructors’ Championship finish.

This figure represented a £71.9m increase in their turnover from 2022, but this did not have a positive knock-on effect on profit, which dipped from £89.7m to £83.8m. One of the major contributing factors to this was a drastic increase in spending on race car development assets.

With Wolff and the rest of the Mercedes technical crew forced to chase performance with an extreme development trajectory, the Brackley-based squad spent £52.2m on developing their machinery. This was an increase of £11.2m compared to the 2022 figure from 2022’s accounts.

Should Mercedes fail to close up to rivals Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren, corporate bosses can expect to see another downturn in profits in 2024. The team cited a “small decline” in television coverage to 14.7 per cent in 2023, which they chalked down to the “lower number of podium finishes”.

Fewer podium finishes and impressive performances mean less exposure for sponsors and commercial partners, which over time could harm the team’s bottom line. With Lewis Hamilton’s departure looming and some of his connections set to depart, the Silver Arrows could be braced for another financial hit in 2024.

In fact, after four rounds of the 2024 campaign, George Russell and Hamilton are yet to register a podium finish between themselves and are struggling down in P7 and P9 in the Drivers’ Championship standings respectively.

However, despite Mercedes’ early struggles, Wolff believes that his drivers can take some positives from what on the surface looked like an abject Japanese Grand Prix. With sprint points on offer in Shanghai this weekend, the Silver Arrows have an opportunity to recover at a track with plenty of low-speed corners that will suit the W15.

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