Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has urged his side to avoid getting “carried away” with its strong start to the 2019 Formula 1 season.

The reigning world champion squad has won each of the opening six races of the campaign and heads Ferrari by a massive 118 points in the constructors’ championship, while Lewis Hamilton is 17 points clear of teammate Valtteri Bottas in the drivers’ standings following his Monaco Grand Prix victory.

But Hamilton had to work hard for his fourth win of the season after being hounded by Red Bull's Max Verstappen throughout as he struggled on less durable tyres compared to his rivals following a rare mistake from Mercedes during the pit stops.

“We were close to losing here,” Wolff admitted.

“Considering that it’s a track where you can’t overtake, Max still tried and could’ve made the pass. I think going back to normal race tracks we need to accept that we, in terms of tyre life, we need to learn from Monaco and understand why that was.

“Because this situation in Montreal you lose the race. I think from a mindset, we must never be carried away. We’re just flying at the moment, but we were a bit lucky to actually win that race.”

Mercedes’ run of consecutive one-two finishes came to an end in Monaco as Bottas finished third behind Sebastian Vettel after suffering contact in a pitlane collision with Verstappen when the German manufacturer opted to double-stack its cars under a Safety Car period.

“I take full responsibility for not [getting] the 1-2,” Wolff explained.

“I think we need to keep our feet on the ground and we’re laughing about it, but what we can see is that when teams stop winning once they had a scent of the title and once they believe it is completely normal.

“It is not normal. 1-2s, and even 1-3s are not normal for the highest competition in motor racing. That’s why we are constantly expecting to hit road bumps. That’s why we take the 1-3 and continue flat out for the next one.”

Asked which upcoming circuits Mercedes is expecting to prove its greatest challenge, Wolff replied: “I think every single one is a great challenge. Monaco, traditionally and historically wasn’t our best track.

“We knew that from the slow corners performance that we saw in Barcelona we have a chance but Monaco is different. So, from pure car performance over a single lap, definitely we were the quickest here.

“Montreal we did great last year. It’s a really exciting challenge and another great motivation to go there and try to perform as good as we can.”

 

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