Toto Wolff admits Mercedes' start to the new F1 season has exceeded even his own expectations despite such a strong pre-season.

Mercedes appeared to have the dominant car from the very first test in Jerez, and has capitalised on its position by winning the opening four grands prix of the season. Only Lewis Hamilton's retirement in Australia has prevented the team from scoring a one-two in every race, with Nico Rosberg winning comfortably in Melbourne before finishing as runner-up to his team-mate each time since.

Asked by if the start to the season was better than he expected, Wolff replied: "Yes it is better.

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"I think you cannot go in to a season with these new regulations and think 'Well, we're going to get four wins in a row'. And I guess also in a couple of years we're going to look back at the statistics and go 'Well, that was a run!'

"You can't take it for granted. You spoilt yourself looking at [China]; we had one car leading and the other one is fifth or sixth and you say 'Oh, boy, that is not good'. We have to stay with both feet on the ground and keep the development curve steep and keep pushing, because no doubt it is going to close up."

And while it's Hamilton who is on a run of three consecutive victories, Wolff also believes the two drivers will be closely matched throughout the year.

"If I'm correct and looking at the world championship I think Nico is still in the lead. Lewis had a fantastic run and three really dominant races and there was nothing to say that these were really going to be Lewis's races. He's really competitive, he seems to have settled down in the team and in the car in a fantastic way. Nevertheless they are both on a competitive level and I have no doubt that this will be a battle which will be going on for quite some time."