Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has repeated his calls for the reigning Formula 1 world champions to remain modest with a long campaign ahead and fears his squad could struggle at Monaco given its recent form at the iconic street circuit.

Despite sweeping to a historic fifth consecutive 1-2 at the start of 2019, a feat no team has ever achieved in F1 following a dominant display at the Spanish Grand Prix, Wolff has urged his team to stay grounded with 16 rounds to go even with healthy leads in both the drivers’ and constructors’ standings.

Wolff sees the next round in Monaco as  Mercedes’ next toughest challenge having failed to win the race for the past two years, but did sweep to four consecutive victories between 2013-2016, and is relishing the opportunity to continue its perfect start to 2019.

“The next two weeks are going to be a tremendous challenge for us,” Wolff said. “We’ve not had the performance in Monaco in the last few years. Remember how strong Ricciardo was last year in the Red Bull. They were in a league of their own.

“We need to take one step at a time. The next race weekend looks challenging on paper. That is massively exciting for us to go there.

“I wish we could go there tomorrow. Everybody's working flat out to try to understand the car for Monaco and really be strong there. So let’s look at the next race, which is the sixth, and try to do well there.”

With Mercedes gifted one of its 1-2s when Charles Leclerc suffered a cruel engine issue while leading the closing stages of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Wolff says its mindset won’t change for the remainder of the season despite scoring 217 out of a potential total of 220 points so far this season – dropping those three points for failing to set the fastest race lap in Bahrain, China and Azerbaijan.

“I think you need to stay humble and keep both feet on the ground,” he said. “We’ve had five fantastic performances now and five one-twos but we don’t take it for granted.

“It’s not just saying it, it’s really the mindset that we have.”

 

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