Wolff pinpoints when Ferrari lost momentum in title race
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff reckons that, if Ferrari had won the Bahrain Grand Prix like it looked like they they were going to, then the 2019 championship race would have a “very different” look to it.
Ferrari have come close to wins twice this campaign in Bahrain and then in Canada. In Bahrain, Charles Leclerc suffered a short-circuit in his power unit with 10 laps to go which handed the victory to Lewis Hamilton. In Canada, Sebastian Vettel was stripped of his win after the conclusion of the race after receiving a penalty for an incident involving Hamilton, who went on to officially be declared winner.
Wolff thinks the Scuderia lost momentum after Bahrain.
"I think somehow the momentum that Ferrari had in Bahrain was lost because they had the quickest car and they should have won the race with Leclerc," Wolff told Autosport.
"Charles was the quickest guy in Baku, before his crash in qualifying, and Sebastian was in the lead in Montreal before the penalty came. So it could easily have been very different based on pure performance."
In pre-season testing, Ferrari looked extremely quick, and Wolff admits that he was left worried by the speed they were showing, even if Mercedes eventually caught up.
"I was worried," the Austrian confessed.
"I wasn't worried about the first test, because in the first test we saw a very impressive Ferrari.
"When you stood out [by the] track, you could see the braking into Turn 1, and Turns 2 and 3. They were mighty.
"You could see on the track that the Ferrari was really good, but then I knew that we would bring an upgrade package that would completely change the car.
"And we put it on the track on the Monday and it didn't correlate, and on the second day, it didn't correlate.
"We thought we had a real problem there. But it all changed on the third day when the car somehow came together.
"And on the fourth day when we were equalling Ferrari's time, it was the first time in the eight days of testing we had the feeling that there is a path that seems sensible."
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