Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff believes Racing Point has the potential to win races this Formula 1 season.
The results of the opening three grands prix are currently provisional pending the outcome of a stewards' hearing into a Renault protest against the brake ducts on the RP20, which is expected to be heard before Sunday's British Grand Prix.
Although the team lacked the race pace to compete with Mercedes at last grand prix in Hungary, after pushing its rival close in qualifying, Wolff has no doubt either Sergio Perez or Lance Stroll could be standing on the top step of the podium before the end of the year.
Wolff feels Racing Point has disproven the theory a midfield team cannot make the leap to challenge the 'big three' of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.
"I'm happy for Racing Point because we were hearing in past years that always the smaller teams on the smaller budgets were unable to compete at the front, and here we go," said Wolff.
"Somebody with a vision and with an idea of where to prioritise has managed to really make the jump from the midfield into the top teams.
"The Racing Point is a podium contender, if not a race-winning contender going forward, and it proves that with the right leadership, with the right decision-making process and the right funding, you can actually accelerate your development curve.
"So lessons to be learned, and I'm happy to see them there."
Heading into the next two races at Silverstone, a circuit where Mercedes has won five out of the six races so far in the hybrid era, Wolff is refusing to countenance that a victory is a given based on past form.
"We enjoyed very good results at the British Grand Prix in recent years, but we all know Babe Ruth's famous quote: 'Yesterday's home runs don't win today's games'," remarked a philosophical Wolff.
"There's no entitlement to a good result because you had a strong showing in the past, on the contrary: a successful race will always be the result of the hard work of every single team member and we will have to bring our A-game to stay ahead of our competitors.
"The first three races have also highlighted another crucial factor: the importance of reliability in this shortened season.
"We're one of only two teams that have finished all races with both cars this year and we know how quickly a DNF can make a lead in the points disappear. It's a good reminder to us all that we have to stay vigilant and that even the smallest mistake can cost us many points."
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