Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is under no illusions when it comes to assessing the results of the first two races of the season.
Mercedes top both the drivers’ and constructors’ standings with Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton combining to deliver consecutive 1-2 finishes for the Silver Arrows.
While Mercedes were in a league of their own in Australia, good fortune struck in Bahrain as reliability would cost Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc a much-deserved victory while Sebastian Vettel blew his own chances with a costly spin.
The incidents of Bahrain are still very much in the forefront of Wolff’s mind heading to round three in China.
“Two races into the 2019 season, it may seem like we’re in a strong position,” said Wolff.
“We have 87 points, just one below the maximum score. But the Constructors’ standings do not tell the full story.
“The truth is that we weren’t as quick as our direct competitors throughout qualifying and the race in Bahrain.
“The Ferrari was considerably faster on the straights and this added up to several tenths around one lap.
“Nevertheless, the saying goes that “in order to finish first, first you have to finish” and the combination of solid performances from the team, reliability of our systems and a strong drive from our drivers secured us the 1-2.”
💬 "We have 87 points, just one below the maximum score. But the constructors' standings do not tell the full story…"
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) April 9, 2019
Wolff went on to say that the team are not at all daunted by the challenge of trying to secure a sixth World Championship double.
“The challenge we are facing doesn’t daunt us – it’s uplifting,” he commented.
“We will keep pushing to extract the maximum performance from our package to deliver the best race we can.
“We will try and exert pressure, maximise our opportunities and keep working hard to develop our overall package.
“We’ve seen exciting races so far this season and we’re looking forward to the next fight in Shanghai.”
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