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Wolff downplays Mercedes chances

6 April 2013

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has moved to downplay the team's chances of securing victory for a second successive season in China next weekend.

The team clinched its first success since taking over the Brawn GP outfit when Nico Rosberg dominated the Shanghai race – taking his maiden F1 victory in the process.

The Brackley-based outfit returns to China for the third round of the season on the back of a solid start to 2013, capped by a podium finish for Lewis Hamilton last time out in Malaysia.

Despite that however, Wolff said Mercedes weren't going into the Chinese race expecting to fight for victory, with the aim simply being to improve on the start it has enjoyed to 2013.

“One year on from Nico's win, a lot of people will be asking whether this is something our team can repeat in 2013,” he said. “But like they say, yesterday's home runs don't win today's games, and that's definitely true for us.

“We start again from zero this year and need to work hard to adapt the car to suit the circuit and the tyre compounds we have available, in the conditions that we find on track next weekend. Then we will see where we stand relative to the competition.

“We have made a solid start to the season in the first two races with Nico and Lewis both performing at a very high and equal level. The development race will be critical this season so we have more new parts planned for China. Our aim has to be to improve on our good start to the season and continue scoring good points in both championships.”

Rosberg too said he was simply looking for a 'good result' in China to maintain his start to the new campaign at a circuit where he has been strong in the past.

“I travel to China next week with very good memories from winning my first Formula One race in Shanghai last year, and having led the race there for the past three years,” he said. “I enjoy the Shanghai track a great deal and I have a positive feeling going there with the car that we have at the moment.

“The team have been working very hard to develop our car since returning from Malaysia and I will be at the factory on Monday to complete my preparations in the simulator for the next two races. We've had a strong start to the season and I'm confident that we can keep pushing and hopefully score some good results in China and Bahrain.”


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