Mercedes cautious despite a commanding victory in Spain

Mercedes cautious despite a commanding victory in Spain

Mercedes cautious despite a commanding victory in Spain

The downbeat early-season mood at Mercedes is slowly being shaken off as they take their customary position at the top of the standings.

Mercedes F1 team principal Toto Wolff says that his team is back in business after watching drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas score a ideal one-two finsh at the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday. "Today I felt that synergy with the auto that I have not felt all year so now we have to do it again".

"It feels like we are back in business but as I said before, let's wait for Monaco".

The 33-year-old British driver was in a class of his own as he galloped to a 21-second triumph - lapping the field up to fifth - while his main championship rival Sebastian Vettel faltered to only fourth place.

However he remained cautious.

He had won in Bahrain and in the season-opener in Australia, when he wasn't as dominant as Hamilton but took advantage of a safety vehicle to win on race strategy.

"In many ways, this is a weekend in which nothing went right", team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said. The team did an exceptional job. I had no idea what the pace would be like. That happiness and that uplift from inside that I have that feeling. I wouldn't say I had ideal synergy, but nearly. I think that showed in my face [as he celebrated after winning].

"I've been racing a long time so to still have that feeling when you do have that win, and that happiness and that uplift inside (is special)", he said. "Coming across the line, I'm happy I did it in the way I planned to".

Ferrari have had the best vehicle so far this year, but Spain marked a turning point with Mercedes dominating throughout the weekend.

What did Hamilton think of the turnaround? We had a read what the track was like.

"I believe it is about having a vehicle that does what you want, drives like you expect it to drive and it is about confidence", Wolff said.

"Second, I think we struggled a bit over the course of the weekend with the tyres".

"Our team have been working hard to understand how it works". You saw that it worked out for [Daniel] Ricciardo and Verstappen in Shanghai, I think this is what they were thinking.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted Hamilton's confidence had taken a knock. "We had pickup and a little bit of a flat spot so we had a frightful vibration, which looked a bit grim, but Lewis at the front was really outstanding".

Vettel was the first of the leaders to stop for fresh tyres, but was the only one who needed to stop again, which cost him two places. "But we could easily go to the next race and struggle". It's too early to say.

"We do after the five races now have a much, much better understanding of the vehicle, of what we need to do to get the auto to be working - but we still have learning to do, improvements to be made". If it's cold, like it has been in the coolest days here, it could be hard, but we definitely go there on a high note - and we definitely don't take for granted the fact that we still have a mountain to climb.

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