Toto Wolff says it is tough to predict how competitive Mercedes will be at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix as there are no clear favorites this season.
After 12 rounds of the season, Mercedes holds a slender 10-point advantage over Ferrari in the constructors’ championship, while Lewis Hamilton is 24 points clear of Sebastian Vettel in the drivers’ standings. Hamilton has won each of the last two races despite Ferrari appearing to have a quicker car on both occasions.
Wolff says the way wins have been shared between the two teams highlights how difficult it is to name a favorite at many circuits.
“After five races in six weeks before the summer break, the shutdown came at just the right time,” Wolff said. “It gave us the opportunity to recharge a little and return energized for what will certainly be a hard-fought second half. Both the drivers’ and the constructors’ championship are extremely tight and I expect it to be a close battle all the way through to Abu Dhabi.
“It’s very difficult to make any predictions for Spa. If this season has taught us one thing, it’s that there are no clear favorites for specific tracks anymore and that it’s not always the fastest car that wins. Instead, the competitive balance seems to swing back and forth from circuit to circuit.”
Amid such a close fight in both championships, Wolff says the current season is shaping up to be a classic with Mercedes having won five races, Ferrari four and Red Bull three.
“What is clear is that our competitors are pushing extremely hard and put up a very tough fight. So we need to keep our heads down, work hard to eliminate our weaknesses and further build on our strengths, and take the season race by race. 2018 promises to be a season that we will still be talking about in years to come and we can’t wait to get out there and start racing again.”
Wolff’s comments come after Fernando Alonso stated the main reason he has opted not to race in Formula 1 in 2019 is because the series has become too predictable.