Red Bull and Ferrari expect Mercedes to overcome their issues, with Ferrari saying “the next race will be a different story in Jeddah, with a different tarmac”.
Mercedes’ performance at the Bahrain Grand Prix was far from what Mercedes wanted and expected.
While Wolff also stated that Mercedes will not be able to fight for the 2023 championship, their rivals are a bit more optimistic.
After the race in Bahrain, Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur said he expects the German team to recover rather quickly.
“It’s race one and we don’t have to do any conclusion,” he said.
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“I think that Mercedes will wake up soon. We don’t know what will happen next week. The next race will be a different story in Jeddah, with a different tarmac.
“So let’s see in Jeddah if we have a better picture,” Vasseur concluded.
Red Bull’s advisor Dr Helmut Marko was also cautious about counting Mercedes out, when asked if his team’s main rival was Ferrari or Aston Martin?
“After one race, it’s difficult to say,” the Austrian said.
“There are still many competitors left. I also believe that Mercedes will become better throughout the season,” Marko concluded.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner thinks Mercedes could make big gains if they decide to change their concept like Aston Martin did.
“I’ve been around long enough to see things change so quickly,” the Briton said.
“I think these cars are still relatively immature and, as teams develop and upgrades come, things will change.
“I think the operating windows of these cars is very narrow and every team in the top three looks like it has developed its own theme. One team [Aston Martin] has adopted our theme and it made a gain.
“So I guess at one point it is going to converge and that can happen during a season,” Horner concluded.