Mercedes boss Toto Wolff thinks it important his team does not assume its strong testing form will automatically carry through into the new Formula 1 season.
Although the team’s rivals are convinced that it is the one to beat in Melbourne this weekend, Mercedes itself is deliberately keeping a lid on its expectations. Wolff has made it clear that the uncertainty caused by the new turbo regulations, as well as concerns about reliability, means big surprises are possible.
“You have to keep the expectation low with such a change of regulations because if you head into the weekend foolish with your pink glasses on and say, ‘This is going to be our year, we are going to destroy everybody else,’ it would not be the right attitude,” said Wolff (pictured, LEFT) in Melbourne on Thursday. “We have had five or six race simulations and we have finished two.
“Of course, it is good and satisfying being up in the front of testing, but it does not mean we will be up in the front on Saturday or on Sunday. This is why we have to keep the optimism a little back at that stage and see how it pans out here and in Malaysia.”
HAMILTON: NO STONE IS UNTURNED
Despite his team not wishing to get ahead of itself, Lewis Hamilton thinks that Mercedes has had exactly the off-season it needed and can at least head into the weekend with some confidence.
“These are exciting times,” he said. “We have had a good winter; we have done absolutely everything we can do to be as ready as we are today and this weekend. But we haven’t started the race yet so we don’t know what is going to happen.
“We are going to keep our heads down, keep focusing on what we are doing and not be disturbed or distracted by what other people are doing – and stay on track.
“Everyone is talking us up and everyone is predicting the future, but we really cannot say what is going to happen this weekend.
“We know we are strong, we have not left any stone unturned, and we have done absolutely everything we could possibly do. So we are hoping we are going to be at the front, that is our goal, but we cannot say that will be the case.”