Mercedes boss Toto Wolff insists his team must remain disciplined and not focus on the eye-catching pace set by Formula 1 rivals Ferrari on the opening day of pre-season testing. 

Ferrari made an encouraging start to the first test in Barcelona as Sebastian Vettel finished nearly half a second clear of the field and topped the mileage charts in the process, logging 169 laps. 

Vettel hailed the day as “close to perfection”, while Wolff acknowledged Ferrari looked “ultra strong” as preparations for the new season got underway. 

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“I think we have a decent package, but again it’s very early days, we don’t know what the competitive order is going to be,” Wolff said. 

“Our cars have always been evolutions from the year before and we try to package the innovative bits underneath the bodywork and also in terms of the power unit.

“We try to add solid steps, bearing in mind reliability is a very important factor, not only peak performance. We feel no sense of entitlement for being top of the pack and [Monday] shows you why - the Ferrari looks ultra strong.

“You need to be disciplined because we’re all keen to look at lap times, you want to be quick, and on top of the leaderboard, but it’s not the purpose of the test,” he added.

“It’s to go through all the parts you want to look at, look at what the data and sensors tell you. Yes I’ve seen [Vettel’s] time, it was very quick, two seconds quicker than anyone else. Definitely the Ferrari has been going quick.” 

Mercedes split its running of its new W10 challenger between Valtteri Bottas and reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton, with the pair completing 150 laps between them across the first day. Bottas described the day as a "relatively successful" first run while Hamilton noted a difference in feel compared to last year's car. 

“The first day with a new car is always a really exciting thing and today was not a bad start,” added technical chief James Allison. “Both drivers had their first taste of the W10 and got 150 trouble-free laps on the board by the end of the day. 

“We managed to squeeze quite a lot in to this first day of running, finding out both how the 2019 tyres are working and also learning about the way the car responds to set-up changes. It was not about absolute pace and we're reasonably pleased with the handling of the car and the way it is behaving.”

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