During the Bahrain Grand Prix it was already clear that Mercedes and Red Bull Racing are very close to each other in terms of speed and today's qualifying session has made that clear once again. This worries Toto Wolff a lot.
"Last year we were six tenths in front here. Now the margin is almost gone, if not completely. If Max Verstappen hadn't made a mistake in turn three, he would have been two tenths ahead of pole position," the Mercedes team boss explains to Sky Germany.
Making the difference in an inferior car
When looking at the big difference between last season and this year, the Austrian is mainly looking at the rule changes, especially when it comes to the shortened floor. "We are keeping our finger on the pulse in terms of the performance of the car, but we lost dramatically more in Imola and Bahrain than last year and much more than any other team."
Wolff, therefore, does not see his own team as favourites at the moment. "The material we have now is not at the level of Red Bull." That is why, according to the team boss, it is extra special that Lewis Hamilton managed to secure pole position. "He then makes the difference and no mistakes. Getting to the core with a lesser car is what sets him apart from the rest," Wolff concluded.