Jun.18 (GMM) Toto Wolff insists Mercedes must not feel “comfortable” heading into the Austrian grand prix.
Seven races into the 2015 season, the German squad has won all but one grand prix, including the easy one-two in Canada where despite an engine upgrade Ferrari did not close the gap to the reigning world champions.
So heading into Austria, where the Red Bull Ring is another ‘power circuit’, one might be forgiven for thinking Mercedes has everything until control.
“But in reality,” boss Toto Wolff insists, “this is never the case.”
Wolff had left Canada suspecting Ferrari had been unable to get the most from its upgraded engine, so he declared ahead of Austria: “The battle is far from over.”
Indeed, Austrian Wolff told the local Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper: “Last year, Austria was our toughest race.” Indeed, the similarly Mercedes-powered customer Williams qualified first and second on the short layout in 2014.
Ultimately, Nico Rosberg won on Sunday but Wolff said ahead of the 2015 edition: “We have set the benchmark high and now we have a lot of pressure.
“And whenever you feel too comfortable, you stumble very quickly. The advantage we have will not be like this forever.”
Nonetheless, Wolff said he is happy to be back ‘home’ in Austria.
“What could be better than being in Styria, surrounded by meadows and mountains and formula one? It is also Niki (Lauda) and my home race, but also Red Bull as well,” he smiled.
“But yes, a good result here would be a very special thing,” Wolff added, “even if there are the same points on offer at every race.”
He also warned that, while world champion Lewis Hamilton looks to have now resumed his top form after the Monaco blip, Rosberg cannot be written off.
“In fact, the differences (between them) are in the hundredths or thousandths,” Wolff insisted.
“Lewis is really good, but whenever it is believed he has Nico under control, he (Rosberg) comes back again as he is so strong in the mind.”