Wolff denies Mercedes is in a league of its own

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Despite winning the first two grands prix of the delayed 2020 F1 season in dominant way, Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff played down his outfit’s chance and performance advantage ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Confirming the initial feeling from the pre-season testing, Mercedes turned out to be clearly and easily the fastest team at Spielberg two weeks ago when the delayed 2020 F1 championship got underway at the Red Bull Ring. While Valtteri Bottas dominated the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, it was his team-mate Lewis Hamilton who cruised to victory at the inaugural Styrian Grand Prix.

Following two rounds into the championship, Mercedes leads the Constructors’ Championship with 80 points, 41 units clear of second-placed McLaren. In the Drivers’ Championship, Bottas is the leader currently thanks to his 43 points while Hamilton is second with 37 points to his name.

Ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, Toto Wolff has confessed that Mercedes’ dominant performance at Spielberg was surprising given that the Red Bull Ring always caused headaches for the team due to the altitude and usually high temperatures.

“Spielberg didn’t always yield the best results for us in recent years, so it feels good to head to Hungary with two victories and a lot of points. We put a lot of effort into finding reliability solutions between the races and it was an impressive team effort to deliver them in time.

“That was echoed by the strong work from the team at the track, all of which ultimately rewarded us with a 1-2 on Sunday. Both drivers did a good job last weekend. Lewis’ pole lap in the rain was one of the best I’ve ever seen and his performance in the race was flawless. Valtteri had a harder time on Saturday, but his damage limitation on Sunday was successful.

Mercedes won the Hungarian Grand Prix last year thanks to Lewis Hamilton while the coming races at Silverstone and Barcelona are expected to highlight Mercedes’ strengths even more given their results from previous years. Playing down their dominance, Wolff said he approaches the coming grands prix with caution.

“Two wins from two races might sound like the performance picture is clear, but that’s far from the truth. We’ve only raced on a single track so far and it is way too early to make any assumptions. The next race in Hungary will be a different scenario, and we’re expecting a challenging fight.

“The Hungaroring has always suited Red Bull and they’ve shown their strength in the slow corners again this year, so they will be very hard to beat. Given the calendar changes this year, the Hungaroring is set to be the highest-downforce track in 2020, so it will be interesting to see whose aero package delivers the most at this track. The first two races this year have been highly entertaining and I’m looking forward to another exciting race weekend to conclude the first triple-header of the year,” he concluded.