Formula One

Don't believe the hype - rival teams believe Mercedes 'not a serious opponent yet'

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Mercedes appear to have turned their season around after a much-improved showing at Barcelona, but both Red Bull and Ferrari denied that anything has changed.

On Sunday (22 May) in Spain, Mercedes claimed a third and fifth finish via George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, respectively, and team boss Toto Wolf claimed Hamilton was at times the fastest driver on track.

"I'm not euphoric, but we've taken a big step forward," Wolff told ORF. "We've freed ourselves from the midfield, and Lewis' pace was so strong that he would have been in contention for the win."

'Still lacking'

Former F1 driver Timo Glock told Sky Deutschland that Mercedes were still lacking speed and behind Ferrari and Red Bull as far as he was concerned.

The former driver added: "In qualifying, Mercedes are still lacking quite a bit to Red Bull and Ferrari. At least they've come a little closer, but Mercedes now has to add another (upgrade) package."

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto had a similar opinion and did not think Mercedes had caught up: "They've improved, and congratulations to the team for developing the car well. But if you look at Russell's gap at the finish, it was 30 seconds. And 7 tenths in qualifying, that's also significant.

"But I don't think we have to worry yet."

Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko was adamant that Mercedes were not a serious opponent yet, saying: "Mercedes is not yet a serious opponent - you could see that when Sergio Perez easily passed Russell.

"But they are getting closer. And maybe it happens even faster than we would like."


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