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Mercedes' predictions of fast Ferrari are genuine - Wolff

Mercedes' predictions of fast Ferrari are genuine - Wolff

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Mercedes' predictions of fast Ferrari are genuine - Wolff

Mercedes' predictions of fast Ferrari are genuine - Wolff

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff insists the Silver Arrows' predictions of struggle at many races this season are genuine. The reigning constructors' champions have begun 2019 with four one-two finishes on the spin, despite pegging Ferrari as favourites at many races.

Mercedes have been quick to talk up their rivals this year and Wolff indeed said a "silver bullet" would be required to deny the Scuderia pole position in Baku last time out.

Perhaps it arrived, as Charles Leclerc crashed in Q2 and Sebastian Vettel was tricked into running without a tow in Q3, allowing Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton to lock out the front row and dominate the race – breaking the record for a team's best start to a world championship season.

"We are not talking ourselves down," said Wolff.

"It is that we see a strong Ferrari on Friday and on Saturday, and I still believe that Charles was probably the fastest man on track [in Azerbaijan], but like in Bahrain, it didn't come together.

"You can say now 'Yeah, stop saying these things, it's the fourth one-two in a row', but it is still very much our mindset.

"We still believe that there are so many things we need to understand better and improve."

Wolff said Mercedes were not the quickest for large parts of the Baku race, but other team's issues enabled them to win again.

"Even in the race at times [Pierre] Gasly and [Max] Verstappen were the quickest and then it was us again," he said.

"Then in the beginning it was Charles who was flying on the mediums. So I think that what we did in the first races was put all the things together.

"The team didn't do any mistakes, the strategy calls were right, the drivers didn't put a foot wrong, and that made us win the first four races.

"Then when you look at the other side, they had more problems."

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