Toto Wolff expects Scuderia Ferrari to rebound following their lacklustre start to the season, starting this weekend at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Wolff saw his Mercedes-AMG Motorsport team claim a dominant one-two finish in Australia, with Valtteri Bottas claiming his first victory since the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2017 ahead of reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton, while the Ferrari duo of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc finished more than fifty seconds adrift in fourth and fifth.
But Wolff, the Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, expects to see in Bahrain the potential shown by Ferrari during pre-season testing, while he also believes that Red Bull Racing will be in the mix for the outright honours.
“Claiming the maximum 44 points race from the first race was a fantastic result, we could not have asked for a better start to the season,” admitted Wolff.
“But the fight has only just begun: Ferrari will try everything they can to hit back and Melbourne showed that Red Bull will have something to say in the fight, too.
“We’ve seen the potential of Ferrari’s package in Barcelona, so we expect them to come back strong in Bahrain, with Red Bull in the mix as well.”
Wolff felt Mercedes came into the Australian Grand Prix expecting to be behind Ferrari, but despite the result down under, they come to Bahrain not expecting the same scenario to unfold.
“After the Barcelona test, we felt that we were the challengers,” said Wolff. “Whatever the Melbourne result says, our mindset hasn’t changed since then.
“One race doesn’t determine the pecking order for the rest of the season.”