Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff hails the reigning Formula 1 world champions’ fifth consecutive 1-2 result at the start of 2019 as “one of the strongest we’ve had in seven years” and says his team doesn’t fear a resurgence from Ferrari or Red Bull.

The German manufacturer continues to make F1 history with the most amount of 1-2 finishes at the start of a campaign, extending its run to five, with a flawless performance at the Spanish Grand Prix which saw Lewis Hamilton secure victory ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas.

With Mercedes showing dominant pace in both qualifying and race trim at Circuit de Catalunya, Wolff says his team has no reason to fear a fightback from its major rivals Ferrari and Red Bull but urges his team to be alert for a resurgence.

“No fear. Both teams [Ferrari and Red Bull] have the right resources and have the tools that could easily make them rebound,” Wolff said. “We’ve seen a weekend in Barcelona now that was probably one of the strongest we’ve had in seven years but we are swinging a little bit with the news.

“If we have a strong weekend from Ferrari in Monaco everybody will write and say this stops Mercedes and is this the end of the Mercedes dominance this year.”

Having flipped pre-season predictions after Ferrari left winter testing in Spain as favourites, Wolff believes Mercedes’ car concept under the revised 2019 F1 technical rules has paid off compared to Ferrari’s own direction but also believes a sustained development push has aided its charge towards domination.

“If you see who was in front in winter testing it is very different to who is in front today, or even if you look in the fights in the midfield,” he said. “It was two different aerodynamic concepts and maybe there is a certain truth in it but then there is never one question and one answer in Formula 1.

“No silver bullet that justifies good or bad performance. I think it is about developing the car, keeping the development slope high and we will really try to add performance from weekend to weekend from the factory, that means from the hard and software, and also in the understanding of the car and the tyres.”

While Hamilton and Bottas battle for the F1 world drivers’ title, Mercedes has pulled out a 96-point lead at the top of the constructors’ championship after the opening five rounds. Mercedes has dropped just three points all year – all through not taking the fastest lap point in Bahrain, China and Azerbaijan.



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