Toto Wolff insists Mercedes is excited by the “amazing battle” it is locked in with Ferrari and Red Bull for honors this season ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Mercedes has yet to win a race heading into the fourth round of the new season, marking its longest run without a victory since the start of the V6 turbo era in 2014. While Ferrari has two victories and Red Bull won last time out in China, Wolff says the challenge of having two serious contenders for wins is a situation that Mercedes is reveling in.
“The 2018 Formula 1 season is set to be a celebration of everything we love about motor racing,” the Mercedes team principal said. “Three teams are fighting fiercely for race wins. We’ve witnessed exciting races with nail-biting overtakes. The fastest F1 cars in history, driven by some of the best drivers this sport has seen. So far, this year has all the ingredients for one of those legendary F1 seasons – a season that fans will look back on with smiles on their faces in years to come.
“And it’s not just the fans at home or at the racetrack who are excited – we feel the same. And we know that we have a massive challenge on our hands. Last year, we were in a tough fight with Ferrari. However, it was nothing compared to the intensity of this year’s battle.
And with the pecking order appearing to change from circuit to circuit, Wolff says it is even harder to gauge where Mercedes will be in Baku this weekend, after a date change for the race compared to last year.
“We’re going into the race weekend in Baku feeling excited about that unpredictability. It will be the first time the Azerbaijan Grand Prix takes place in April, with completely different conditions to the previous years when we went to the Caspian Sea in June.
“This is a demanding circuit where the drivers need confidence in the car to find the right rhythm and you want to hit the ground running on Friday morning. Last year’s race threw up a podium that nobody could have predicted and, as is the way with street courses, we can once again expect the unexpected.”