Toto Wolff insists his Mercedes team is being flattered by its record-breaking start to the season after four consecutive one-two finishes heading into the Spanish Grand Prix.
Mercedes became the first team in Formula 1 history to start a season with four straight one-twos when Valtteri Bottas led home Lewis Hamilton in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. On two occasions, Mercedes has been comfortably quickest, but with Ferrari looking a serious threat in both Bahrain and Baku, Wolff (pictured at left, above) says the points don’t tell the fully story of the current competitive order.
“Nobody would have predicted four consecutive Mercedes 1-2s after winter testing,” Wolff said. “But here we are having scored 173 points in the first four races — a remarkable result which is first and foremost testament of the amazing work of every single member of the team. Our devotion to the task, our hunger for victory and our love of racing are stronger than ever.
“The results seem to paint a relatively clear picture, but the truth is that they’re too flattering. The performance has fluctuated in the first four races. We had the fastest car in Australia and China, but we won in Bahrain thanks to our reliability when we were on the back foot in terms of speed. And while our race pace looked good in Azerbaijan, we were never able to build a truly comfortable gap to our rivals. So there is no complacency about our situation because we know that it’s not truly representative of the balance of power this season so far.”
Wolff added that the pace shown by Ferrari during pre-season testing remains a warning sign heading back to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend.
“Our next stop takes us to Barcelona, where our opponents were blisteringly quick in winter testing, so the Spanish Grand Prix will be anything but easy. Despite the good start to the season we remain quite skeptical of our own performance and know that there are a number of areas where we can and must improve.
“We anticipate a tough and competitive weekend, first against our rivals and also between our drivers. Everything is still very much up for grabs this season and we will be keeping our foot firmly to the floor.”