Wolff calm over Ferrari challenge

Published: Wednesday 8th April 2015 by The News Editor

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Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff sees no reason to go cap in hand to the powers that be within the German giant and demand extra revenue to fight off the new threat of Ferrari.

From out of the blue, it was the scarlet red of Ferrari that was back on the top step of the podium for the first time in almost two years last time out in Malaysia, pushing reigning champion Lewis Hamilton and team-mate Nico Rosberg down to second and third.

From the threat of another Silver Arrows-dominated campaign in the wake of last year’s stunning success and crushing start to the season in Australia, Formula One was provided with a much-needed tonic with Ferrari’s return to winning ways courtesy of Sebastian Vettel.

That led to speculation Wolff was prepared to ask for more funds from the Mercedes board to ensure his team stayed ahead of the pack.

But a dismissive Wolff said: “We have everything we need.

“We feel confident in the resources we have, the staff we have, and that we are well-placed.

“We just need to stay calm, continue to develop and put the right things on the car.

“Maybe we put some things earlier on the car than planned, but there is no reason to panic.

“We are back into a regular racing season where you have more than just one contender, and more than one-twos every single weekend. It’s back to normal business.”

Wolff insists his team has left no stone unturned since the race in Malaysia in a bid to uncover what went wrong, even though most teams would jump through hoops for a two-three finish.

“Although we had two cars on the podium, we have been looking very carefully at every area where we could have performed better,” said Wolff.

“Our opposition has raised its game and we must now raise ours even further.

“As we have said since Melbourne, we expect a season-long battle for both world championships and we must maximise every opportunity.

“China is the next chance to do that – a circuit which has been a good hunting ground for the team.

“Lewis has a great record here, and for Nico it’s where he made his first step into the winners’ circle.

“We have the weapons at our disposal and we need to make the most of them this weekend.”

Hamilton is a three-time winner at the Shanghai International Circuit – including last year – whilst he has been on the podium on three other occasions.

Rosberg, meanwhile, was second to Hamilton last year after triumphing in 2012.

Like Wolff, Hamilton knows more can and will be done, as he said: “Malaysia was a tough weekend.

“It always is with the heat, but with car problems on Friday, rain during qualifying on Saturday and a race which didn’t go to plan on Sunday, that one was particularly challenging.

“Ultimately we made the best choices we could, but there is always room for improvement and we’ve been working hard to analyse everything for the next race in China.

“The circuit is one I really enjoy and it suits my driving style quite well.

“I won the race last year and have only finished outside of the podium places twice, so the target is definitely to build on that and get back to the front.”

From his perspective, Rosberg is far from happy with his two races to date which have seen him finish second and third.

“It’s not been a perfect start to my sixth year with the team and I’m determined to turn that around this weekend,” insisted Rosberg.

“Of course, my team-mate will have other ideas, so will my compatriot in the red car (Vettel) I’m sure.

“But this is a track that has always suited me well, so I’m aiming to put in a strong weekend.”

Published: Wednesday 8th April 2015 by The News Editor

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