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Wolff states Mercedes is not underestimating competition

  • Published on 24 Feb 2018 15:42
  • comments 3
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says that it would be dangerous for the Silver Arrows to discount potential title contenders for the upcoming season. After dominating for three years in the V6 hybrid era, Mercedes faced a title challenge from Ferrari last year.

Mercedes ultimately won the battle at the end of the season, with Ferrari suffering from differing issues during the Asian leg of the calendar. And Wolff things that it would be unwise to just think Ferrari will challenge again, claiming Mercedes are eying Red Bull and McLaren closely.

“If you would have asked the question last year we would have said Red Bull will be the main contender,” Wolff said when asked about Mercedes’ potential rivals. "As it happened it was Ferrari. I think it’s very dangerous before the season has started to reduce the number of potential competitors to one or two teams.

"You need to take everybody seriously. Ferrari was very strong [in 2017], Red Bull was very strong. I am curious to see how McLaren will perform with the Renault engine. The step-up of the works team itself will be interesting to see. Williams has gone quite radical. I think you need to keep taking everybody seriously at this stage."

Lewis Hamilton meanwhile, will be chasing his fifth world title, his fourth with Mercedes. He admits that he doesn't want to lay down any predictions as he is not sure who will be fastest come the opening round of the season. 

"I’d be guessing right now and anything I say now might be different and I’d be contradicting myself," he said. "Last year Red Bull was over one second behind at the beginning and their rate of development was faster than anyone else.

"Will they continue on that climb into this season? If they do it is a challenge for Ferrari and us to follow up on that. Who is going to be fastest? We have no idea. It is a small step for example on this car [the W09] compared to the brand new car last year so it will be interesting to see.

“Last year if you look at Max [Verstappen], you have to expect him to have a strong year and Daniel [Ricciardo] as well. The same for Sebastian [Vettel] and Ferrari if they have a similar start to last year."

 

Fergal Walsh

Replies (3)

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  • I believe him. Unfortunately.

    • + 0
    • Feb 24 2018 - 16:29
  • boudy

    Posts: 1,168

    Ferrari designed an excellent car last season and strictly speaking their drivers let the car down. There has always been a kind of wave effect in F1 with regards to succes. Ferrari started strong but could not maintain. Redbull started weak but got better. There were a lot of retirements by Renault last year I wonder if that will be better. The oil burning will be regulated much more which might have an effect on their engine. Looking forward to seeing how the cars compare in their first test.

    • + 0
    • Feb 25 2018 - 05:37
    • lol wut?! Bullshit from someone who clearly doesn't understand anything about automotive engineering. Ferrari had an excellent car? By that if you mean Mercedes on the other hand had a supersonic missile then yes. Are you that dense or deliberately pretending to be one because you are a Hamilton fanboi? Whatever Ferrari managed was because Mercedes couldn't deliver at some tracks they should have done better by default, their advantage was a joke on everyone else and the sport. It would have made no difference if F1 was called M1 as in Mercedes 1, the technical advantage and favors they got from the regulations (oil burning limits) was so huge it was insurmountable with or without Ferrari retirements in races. Vettel would have destroyed everyone else with some of the drives he delivered if he was in that Mercedes. British nut jobs like you need to drop the koolaid and think rationally for once. Jingoism is never healthy in today's world.

      • + 0
      • Feb 26 2018 - 04:25

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