Off the pace in Malaysia, Toto Wolff insists Mercedes are not the favourites heading into this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.
Although Mercedes have dominated Suzuka in recent years, taking pole position and the race win every year since 2014, this year could be a different story.
Not only have Ferrari proved to be stronger than in previous seasons, taking the fight to Mercedes, but the Silver Arrows have not been the pace-setters in recent weeks.
Arguably the third fastest car in Singapore and again in Malaysia, Wolff reckons the Japanese GP result is by no means set in stone.
“The next challenge comes in the form of Suzuka, a circuit which will ask very different questions of our car than Sepang,” said the motorsport boss.
“In the last years, we have performed very strongly there. But recent weeks have reminded us that historic form counts for little with these 2017 cars and tyres.
“It is a circuit which rewards grand prix cars and drivers performing at their very best – and we expect a very close fight between ourselves, Ferrari and Red Bull.
“As a team, our targets for the final quarter of the season are very clear. It is entirely in our hands to make sure we achieve them.”