Mercedes' era of dominance is over - Wolff

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With Ferrari giving Mercedes more than a run for its money this year, Toto Wolff admits that it is the end of an era for the German manufacturer.

The Silver Arrows have been in a league of their own since Formula 1 ushered in the era of the hybrid V6 power unit.

In 2015 and 2016, Mercedes won 35 out of the 40 races and secured every title on offer, almost completely monopolising the top step of the podium.

But in 2017 so far, the Brackley squad has been defeated two out of three times by Ferrari.

"Yes, our three-year dominance is over," team boss Wolff told the Swiss newspaper Blick.

"It was not always good for Formula 1.  That's why many fans are now looking forward to a great world championship."

On the other hand, Wolff says Mercedes is enjoying the new, calmer relationship between its drivers.

"Before, for three years we had to consider how to manage Rosberg and Hamilton, but that problem is now gone," said the Austrian.

The problem may be gone for now, but Wolff threw a bit of a wrench in the works at Bahrain when he ordered Nico Rosberg's successor, Valtteri Bottas, to move aside and make way for a faster Lewis Hamilton.

"That never feels good," Wolff admitted.

"But the question we had to ask was 'Do we want to lose the race?'

"Valtteri simply didn't have the tyres under control, so we had to put Lewis ahead," he said.

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