Mercedes insists its 2014 dominance overstated by Formula 1 rivals

Mercedes insists it is not in as dominant a position as its rivals believe following its victory in the Formula 1 season opener in Australia

Mercedes insists its 2014 dominance overstated by Formula 1 rivals

Nico Rosberg confirmed Mercedes' status as 2014 F1 favourite with a crushing victory in Melbourne as the team carried over its strong testing form to the first race.

But although the team's rivals are convinced that Mercedes has an advantage of at least one second per lap, the German car manufacturer is adamant that it remains under threat from the opposition.

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff said: "Yes I would say we have a little bit of a margin performance-wise, but it is not a lot.

GP analysis: Mercedes could only beat itself

"And, if you see where Red Bull came from with very, very little mileage in testing and suddenly they run second - that is quite a wake-up call for everybody."

Although it is rare for a team to start off a season with the kind of advantage that Mercedes has and quickly lose it, Wolff is adamant that nothing can be taken for granted in 2014.

With teams only just beginning to understand the new turbo cars, he reckons that the rate of development will be so aggressive this year that the competitive picture could change very quickly.

"I don't think you can even lean back and think that this is a comfortable buffer," he said.

"The point is that in a regular season you would have two seconds of development curve from the beginning to the end of the season, so with these new cars the development curve is going to be even steeper.

"Considering that fact, an advantage can quickly turn into a disadvantage within a couple of races.

"We had the first race weekend, we won the race and pace-wise it looked OK, but speaking about us being favourites after the first race would be a bit over the top."

shares
comments
Renault certain its 2014 F1 engine good enough to catch Mercedes
Previous article

Renault certain its 2014 F1 engine good enough to catch Mercedes

Next article

Raikkonen: brake-by-wire system at root of early Ferrari F1 issues

Raikkonen: brake-by-wire system at root of early Ferrari F1 issues
Load comments
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Plus

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Plus

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021