Mercedes and its Director, Toto Wolff, believe that the Ferrari team did not show its true potential during the winter tests in Barcelona.
Ferrari has repeatedly stated that the SF1000 is not yet living up to its expectations and the lap times achieved in the first few days in Barcelona seem to confirm this trend.
However, Mercedes, the team to beat since 2014, thinks the Scuderia is hiding its game: “You can see what Ferrari is doing compared to Alfa Romeo or Haas. But Ferrari’s top speed is far from what it currently shows. They can probably gain another second. ” said Toto Wolff in Auto-Bild.
“The most important thing is to try and guess where everyone is. We don’t know the fuel loads either. So you can tell a lot about lap times.
Asked again about the DAS and its usefulness, Wolff says he wants to aim higher: “Our approach is unchanged. We still assume that we’re not good enough and therefore have to compensate.
However, the W11 is a single-seater that has given them complete satisfaction so far: “I am proud of the performance of the single-seater. It is stable and makes a good impression even in the windy conditions here [in Barcelona].
“So we seem to have a solid base for the start of the season. At least we’ll have a base that we can build on to improve.”
Meanwhile, Ferrari insists they’re not ‘sandbagging’ as reported by the official F1 website yesterday evening.
When asked directly after running ended on the second day of Week 2, Team Principal Mattia Binotto said: “Honestly I don’t think so. We know what we are doing, we know if we’ve got margin or not.”
“If you look at race simulation pace, it’s true that today [Lewis] Hamilton had an issue [stopping in the afternoon after 14 laps], but his initial stint – the speed he got was impressive.
“Is that, on our side, sandbagging? No doubt: no.” concludes Binotto.
Watch: First real onboard of revised Zandvoort for DutchGP
Riding high on a wave of Max Verstappen popularity in Holland, constructors have more or less completed a £12.6 million overhaul of the outdated circuit with a view to making it stand out among the other 21 races on the F1 calendar in 2020.
When F1 and Liberty Media decided to put Zandvoort back on the calendar for the next three years many feared it could be a dull event with virtually no chance for cars to overtake. The answer to this problem along with safety revisions due to lack of run-off areas was to be banked corners.
Indeed director of F1 Ross Brawn admitted he was “worried”……. READ MORE ON THIS STORY