(Motorsport-Total.com) – Toto Wolff certainly did not envision the first races of the new season going this way. After two years of following the much-discussed Zero-Sidepod concept, 2024 was supposed to mark a fresh start. However, four races into the season, the Silver Arrows are experiencing their worst season start in 13 years: No Mercedes car has made it onto the podium in the first four races of the World Championship, a feat not seen since 2011.

Sky expert Ralf Schumacher has not held back when it comes to discussing Mercedes and Team Principal Wolff. “I would say that Toto Wolff’s situation is extremely precarious and difficult. Toto is not used to losing. It’s logical, he has always been on the path to success and has outperformed everyone. This is a new situation,” Schumacher said in an interview with Sky.

Starting from 2025, Wolff will also have to manage without record world champion Lewis Hamilton, who is switching to Ferrari. “His number one driver has left him because he no longer believes in the team. This is a huge problem for him,” Schumacher added. Wolff must now “step up, he has to ensure that the team remains attractive and that good drivers still come to him.”

Schumacher mentioned world champion Max Verstappen as an example, who has been linked to a potential switch to Mercedes due to the issues surrounding the Horner affair at Red Bull. “Even if he were to leave Red Bull, of course, Ferrari is now taken, but I have to be honest: Whether to McLaren or Mercedes or maybe even Aston Martin… as a driver, I wouldn’t know what I would prefer,” Schumacher harshly commented.

Fernando Alonso’s recent contract extension with Aston Martin supports Schumacher’s assessment. The Spaniard was also considered a potential candidate for Mercedes but opted to stay with the Green Team. Currently, Mercedes is in fourth place in the World Championship standings, trailing behind Red Bull, Ferrari, and McLaren, with only 34 points – just one point more than Aston Martin, who also use Mercedes engines.

“They are being outperformed by their customer teams like McLaren. That is the worst thing that can happen,” Schumacher expressed some sympathy for the Silver Arrow team principal. “Mercedes is currently in a mess. You can also see it in Toto Wolff’s reactions, I respect him, I like him, but this is a disaster,” Schumacher added.

“They don’t even know what they are doing sometimes. They say, we were saving the tires, but then they saved the tires for too long. They have two cars, and I don’t understand why they can’t have two strategies,” Schumacher criticized. In Suzuka, Hamilton and teammate George Russell were trailing behind, finishing ninth and seventh respectively after a strategic mishap.

Schumacher concluded, “It’s a bit chaotic and almost desperate at the moment. That’s at least the impression. Right now, the team doesn’t understand how things should go. We saw at the end of the race that the car was quick with less fuel. Then suddenly they increased the speed and said, well, we should have been faster from the beginning.”

Schumacher finds this baffling, stating, “I don’t know how, with so many experts and the great strategies that Mercedes has always had, they can send two cars into the race so poorly prepared and wait so long to act. There is really a lot to do.” Especially for Team Principal Toto Wolff.