Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his team now has started to feel the increasing pressure from rivals and that his team has “no breathing space” in the championship battle given the threat from Red Bull.
Wolff believes “the very real threat” coming from Red Bull underlines the work his team has to do if it intends to defend its F1 titles this season.
Red Bull’s recent victory in Spain following Mercedes’ early retirement from the race and their recent performance in Monaco has impressed Wolff that the Red Bull’s threat is real and it’s serious.
At Monaco the crowd has witnessed how close the gap is between Red Bull and the Silver Arrow. Daniel Ricciardo has beat Mercedes to pole position and looked set for victory before the human error allowed Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton to take the commanding lead.
Despite the fact that Mercedes has won five of the opening six races this season and hold a comfortable 67-point lead over its nearest rival Ferrari, Wolff knows that it has little room for errors over the remainder of the season and that Red Bull is out there waiting for some good openings.
“The main thing we took away was the very real threat from Red Bull,” said Wolff, via Motorsport. “It took a bold strategy, a big push from Lewis and an even bigger slice of luck with Daniel’s slow pitstop to get us that win.
“I’ve said this many times before – but we have no breathing space in this championship. Maintaining any advantage is a constant battle – and the pressure is only getting bigger.
“This unpredictable season has been great for the sport and shows that Formula 1 is alive and well. But, for us as a team, there is clearly work to do.
“There remains room for improvement in our reliability – but the push for more performance has become increasingly important too.”
In addition, Red Bull also benefited from the introduction of the newly upgraded Renault F1 engine, which gives Red Bull a significant improvement on the tracks. This new Renault that Daniel Ricciardo has used in Monaco and will again use in Montreal, Canada next weekend is definitely a great upgrade at about 30bhp. But, this is not what makes the Red Bull’s car so impressive. It is the car’s impressive slow-cornering ability that gives Red Bull a great advantage in the upcoming race.
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