Mercedes boss Toto Wolff (pictured above) believes the battle between his team, Ferrari and Red Bull could intensify at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel secured victory in the first two races of the season and is currently on a run of three pole positions in a row, but Mercedes secured its first win of the year courtesy of Lewis Hamilton in Baku. That victory came after the two Red Bull drivers collided, two weeks after Daniel Ricciardo won in China, and Wolff is expecting the more significant updates that are traditionally introduced in Spain to result in all three teams remaining in the hunt for wins.
“After an exciting start to 2018 we’re now heading into the European season with races like Spain and Monaco that present very different challenges than some of the previous tracks,” Wolff said. “Overtaking is difficult in Barcelona and even more so in Monte Carlo, making track position key for a good race result. So every team will work hard to get every last bit of performance out of the car in qualifying.
“The European season is also the time when teams start introducing bigger upgrades to their cars. It’s the first step of the development race that looks like it could run to the very end of the season. It will be interesting to see how much performance the teams can find with their upgrades and what impact those upgrades will have on the team ranking – both at the front and in the midfield.
“Barcelona holds mixed memories for us – a double DNF in 2016, but also a dramatic win for Lewis last year after passing Vettel on track for the lead. We’re hoping that this year’s Spanish Grand Prix will be a good race for us, but we know that it will be tough. The first four races indicate very strongly that we will see the three-way battle continue and if anything intensify.”
Hamilton’s win in Baku saw the defending champion take the lead in the drivers’ championship by four points from Vettel, but Ferrari heads into this weekend’s race in Barcelona with the same advantage over Mercedes in the constructors’ standings.