Mercedes boss Toto Wolff gives title backing to 'brilliant' Red Bull rival Max Verstappen

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Wolff also spoke about his own team, and echoed his honest assertions about the situation the team finds itself in. The Silver Arrows no longer set the standard, and after dominating the sport for every year since the beginning of the Hybrid Era in 2014, they find themselves playing catch-up to Red Bull and Ferrari.

He has not yet written off Mercedes’ chances of success this year, though, adding: “My first thought was that this is a repeat of my first year in 2013 – but that was easier than it is now. We had a fast car then, but especially problems with managing the tires during the race. Now we have two teams and four drivers who are more competitive than us.

“We still believe this concept can work. The situation won’t be there in a few days. It’s a fantastic challenge for us, as a team. We have good people and two great drivers in Lewis and George Russell. We want to prove we can recover and fight back. But Red Bull and Ferrari have it better at the moment – and we have to be humble about that.”



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