Wolff 'optimistic' about Merc chances

Monday 10-March-2014 11:26

Toto Wolff has downplayed criticism about the new-look Formula One, adamant fans will be "pleasantly surprised."

This season heralds the arrival of the 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 engine that will power the teams while fuel limits, less downforce and strange looking noses will all have an impact on the sport.

And although the season has yet to get underway, there are already those who are unhappy with today's Formula One.

Wolff, though, reckons fans could be in for a treat.

"I think people are going to be pleasantly surprised by the new cars: the noise, the speeds and ultimately the lap times," he said. "This is cutting-edge technology - and that's exactly what Formula One stands for."

As for the new regulations, they appear to have played into Mercedes' favour with the team emerging - along with Williams - as the early season favourite.

But while Wolff is "optimistic" about the team's chances, he concedes there is still work to be done.

"The new regulations have been a massive challenge for everybody involved, and the team has been pushing flat out to get the car to where it is now as we approach the first race in Melbourne," he said.

"While it is true that the quickest car with the quickest drivers will win, reliability will be a key factor. We want to bring both cars to the flag in the best possible position.

"We now face the ultimate reality check in the first race of this new era for Formula One. The feeling within the team is not one of nerves, however. It is more a sense of relief to finally be unleashing our cars in race conditions. Everybody now just wants to get out there and see where we stand.

"Expectations are high, both internally and externally. Although we're not quite where we want to be right now in terms of a complete package, I'm optimistic in that we've done everything possible to prepare for the challenges ahead."

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