Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault, Honda all now "on par" - Wolff
Toto Wolff is convinced Formula 1's four power unit rivals Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda are now all on par with one another.
Over the years, since the introduction in F1 of the current V6 turbo-charged hybrid systems, Mercedes' initial advantage has been whittled away.
In 2019 it was evident Ferrari had the edge but failed to match Mercedes in terms of reliability as the latter clinched record sixth consecutive constructors' and drivers' championships.
While Ferrari seemed off the pace in pre-season testing in February, Wolff is refusing to count them out of the running when the season finally starts on July 5 in Austria, and has no doubt Renault and Honda will be firmly in the mix.
"Last year Ferrari's power unit was much more powerful, but we haven't seen it yet," said Wolff, suggesting the Scuderia's SF1000 was holding back a degree of performance in February.
"Only in a qualifying session and in the race is everybody really going to show their hand, and we haven't seen that, so I'm always on the pessimistic side.
"We need to catch up, we need to come out with a reliable, powerful and driveable engine, and I hope it's enough.
"But I wouldn't also discount Honda and Renault. I think every single power unit supplier is pretty much on par now."
With eight races in the first 10 weeks of a heavily revised season, including two triple-headers and the prospect of a third as a race at Imola or Mugello is poised to follow the Belgian and Italian Grands Prix, getting both cars over the line is naturally going to be crucial to determining the destiny of this year's titles.
"This new calendar and corona throw us some new challenges," added Wolff. "I think reliability is going to be a fundamental part of the first races.
"The cars have come out of the container straight from Australia, there's not a lot of time to run them on the dynos, and we will be using every session to learn.
"The reduced-race calendar is a challenge for everybody, but again I think the team that has the quickest car and the most reliable package will win the championship."
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