Toto Wolff feels the 2018 season has been a "marvellous advertisement" for Formula 1 to date thanks to the close competition both at the front-end of the pack and in the midfield, offering a number of surprise results.

Mercedes entered the new campaign looking for its fifth straight set of championships, but has faced stiff competition from Ferrari and lead driver Sebastian Vettel, who has pushed Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton hard through the first 12 races of the season. Red Bull has also emerged as a bigger threat through 2018, picking up three victories.

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"The battle at the top is more exciting than ever before, and things are also very tight in the midfield," Wolff said.

"The races have not only produced some great wheel-to-wheel action on the track but also some surprise winners: seven of the 12 races so far were not necessarily won by the fastest car.

"All in all, I would say that the 2018 season has been a marvellous advertisement for the sport."

Despite trailing two races ago, Mercedes entered the summer break last Sunday leading both championships, with Hamilton running 24 points clear of Vettel in the drivers' standings. However, Wolff is still excited by the close battles throughout the field, believing it to be a very good thing for F1.

Looking back on Mercedes' performances so far this season, Wolff identified plenty of positives, but stressed the need for the team to identify its weaknesses and push to up its game following the summer break.

"For us as a team, the half-term report is a positive one, as we are currently leading both world championships. We owe this to the efforts of our team in Brackley and Brixworth and to the driving skills of Lewis and Valtteri [Bottas]," Wolff said.

"At the same time, though, we also realise that we have dropped points in more than one race, so we are going flat out to boost performance even more for the second half of the season.

"We will be working very hard on that right up to the weekend when the summer break officially begins as decreed by the regulations. It's a break that everyone on our team has more than earned. We will then come back refreshed with the necessary energy to raise our game even further in the second half of the season."

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