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Mercedes taking Ferrari threat ‘very seriously’

Toto Wolff is not ruling out Ferrari taking another significant step forward for F1 2016, but is optimistic that Mercedes can maintain its advantage.
Toto Wolff says he is 'very encouraged' by the progress he has seen from Mercedes in the factory as the team looks to maintain its advantage over the F1 competition in 2016.

The German manufacturer clinched a second F1 world title with relative ease in 2015, the team largely dominating with drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg by winning all but three of the year's 19 races.

Even so, with Mercedes coming up against a renewed threat from a much-improved Ferrari in 2015, Wolff remains wary that the Italian team could experience a similar step forward over the winter that would bring it into line for 2016.

“Ferrari has made a big step from 2014 and considering the results we think that could well be the case for 2016,” he said. “We take the Ferrari competition and threat very seriously. Competition is good and important for F1 for there to be more going on at the front. Ferrari is our best frenemy.

However, Wolff says that by being well aware of the Ferrari's threat means Mercedes is better placed to build on its current advantage, adding that he is 'encouraged' by what he has seen so far.

“I always think that [Ferrari could challenge],” he continued. “It was my thinking last year, it was the thinking of the year before and we have many reasons to be sceptical, so we should do a good job over the winter. What we see from the various departments it is very encouraging, we just have to put it together. The stopwatch never lies and in March we will see if we have done a good enough job or not.”

Meanwhile, Red Bull Racing manager Christian Horner feels Mercedes will dominate as comprehensively as it has done over the past two seasons due to the static nature of the technical regulations.


Related Pictures

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26.07.2015 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06 and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
14.05.2017 - Race, Celebration, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 race winner
14.05.2017 - Race, Celebration, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 race winner
14.05.2017 - Race, Celebration, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 race winner
14.05.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
14.05.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
14.05.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H leads Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
14.05.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H leads Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
14.05.2017 - Race, Sebastian (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H leads Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
14.05.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
14.05.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
14.05.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
14.05.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
14.05.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
14.05.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
14.05.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Race winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates with the team.
14.05.2017.
Race winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates with the team.
14.05.2017.

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George Zaidan

December 27, 2015 10:53 AM

ProfessorX: actually it's beyond any reasonable doubt that Kimi will take points of Vettel next year. Some people can't see past that pedestal though. The best thing Merc could do for 2016 is for Torger to sell his 20% stake in Merc and move on to something else. Haug, Brawn and Niki would do a much better job than Torger, and they wouldn't be playing games with other teams, have serious conflicts of interest. Well, Torger did have a 'sizeable' stake in WIlliams, but not any more, any wonder why Susie isn't there any more? Why their cars are going slower this year?
I believe it's 30%... you do seem worried that he'll can lulu, like they say in the corporate world, no one is indispensable.

George Zaidan

December 27, 2015 10:50 AM

Taipan: Ferrari don't have to match the Merc car just get close enough to it to give Vettel a chance, he's more than good enough to beat that pair without having equal machinery. Lulu and Rosberg will take points off each other but it's unlikely that Kimi will take points from Vettel. In addition if Merc are put under pressure for a change the fall outs and brain farts will only increase.
that about sums it up, great post as usual Tai, give Vettel a decent machine and watch the sparks and toys fly at Mercedes (poor Toto hehe).



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