Toto Wolff has suggested that any hope of Mercedes being able to overhaul Formula 1 rivals Red Bull before 2026 is “against the odds”.

Red Bull produced one of the most dominant seasons of recent times in 2023 as it won all but one of the 22 races on route to a second consecutive title double.

The Milton Keynes-based outfit has been the standout team since the current ground-effect cars were introduced last year, leaving other teams concerned that its advantage will remain until the next rule reset in 2026.

The next regulation change will see the addition of brand-new power units that will run on 100% synthetic biofuels and have 50% more electrical power.

Mercedes boss Wolff was full of praise for Red Bull’s efforts this year, but doesn’t see it being dethroned in the current era.

“Red Bull started these regulations in 2022 with a massive advantage and was able to maintain it,” Wolff said, as quoted by RacingNews365.

“You got to have a lot of respect for their achievement from the engineering side and the driver.

“Beating them under the current regulations is against the odds, that’s clear.”

Mercedes is planning to run a completely new car concept in 2024 following the struggles it had with the W13 and W14, as it aims to close the gap to Red Bull.

Wolff admits that taking the fight to Red Bull will be a challenge in itself, but is drawing inspiration from Aston Martin and McLaren’s huge gains this season.

“At the same time, we’ve seen with McLaren, an update unlocked a second in lap time or AlphaTauri coming strong at the end and Aston Martin over the winter,” he said.

“There is a key to unlocking dramatically more performance and I think us assessing it in an honest way, this car is never going to be good enough to fight for a championship.

“We if they can be you know, we’ve taken the decision in spring that we got that we got to go back to the drawing board and come up with something new next year.

“But Mount Everest is in front of us.”