Max Verstappen will start the F1 Spanish Grand Prix from pole position, the favourite to extend Red Bull’s winning streak into a seventh round in a row.

Wolff, the Mercedes team principal who is now forced to play second-fiddle after years of dominating through his own drivers, explained his annoyance.

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He replied to being asked how far ahead Verstappen is from the Mercedes drivers: “I simply don't know. I think Verstappen is just on a different level. 

It pisses me off to say that, but that is the reality.  

“It is a meritocracy. They have just done the best job and the driver is driving excellently.

“They are just far away and that is something which only we have in our hands to get under control.” 

Mercedes endured a difficult qualifying in Barcelona, seeing Lewis Hamilton and George Russell collide into each other.

The incident was put down to “miscommunication” from Wolff’s team, with neither driver aware of the other’s position or intention.

Hamilton and Russell were given a formal warning by the stewards.

Hamilton will begin the F1 Spanish Grand Prix from fourth - but Wolff knows how big the gap is to pole-sitter Verstappen.