Wolff wary of Ferrari gains

© XPB 

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his team needs to be wary of the gains made by Ferrari over the winter after it showed strong pace in the first race of the season.

Sebastian Vettel was a distant third to Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in the Australian Grand Prix, but spent the first half of the race stuck behind Felipe Massa’s Williams. Ferrari scored just two podiums all year in 2014 but having shown itself to be the nearest challenger in Melbourne Wolff says it highlights just how quickly the team’s rivals can close the gap.

“Melbourne was a faultless weekend from the team and a well-deserved reward for everybody who has worked so hard on the W06 Hybrid project,” Wolff said. “They absolutely deserve the success we currently enjoy.

“It was, however, just one race. We will not be backing off - and nor can we afford to, with a relentless opposition chasing us. Ferrari have made a clear step forwards, Williams also look very strong and you can never count anybody out at this stage, so we are prepared for a fight in the coming races.

“The next battle is Malaysia - a home race for Petronas and one we will attack with the same intensity as Australia. In our minds it's back to square one and our objectives remain the same.”

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