Though Mercedes received the F1 season opener in Bahrain, the tempo proven by Purple Bull all through the weekend factors to the RB16B being the quickest automobile on the grid proper now.
However relatively than Mercedes being downbeat concerning the process it now faces to shut the hole to Purple Bull, Wolff says the German automobile producer was truly revelling within the circumstances.
“In a manner there’s a feeling inside the group that we very a lot get pleasure from the brand new circumstances,” Wolff instructed Motorsport.com. “And it’s that, on paper, Purple Bull is forward with possibly all of their package deal.
“It is theirs to lose, ours to win, as a result of when you’ve gotten the quickest automobile, you’ve got to ship on that.
“We’ve got to catch up. We’ve got to deploy our A-game and discover extra efficiency. However strictly talking, we’re second finest on the highway.”
Wolff mentioned Mercedes didn’t discover it exhausting to cope with being behind its major rival on tempo phrases. In truth, he felt that it had served to carry a brand new vitality and focus to everybody at Brackley and Brixworth.
“The enjoyable issue of us being within the hunt may be very pleasant, as a result of it’s it’s a new scenario, and we embrace this chance,” he mentioned.
“That hasn’t been the case since 2013. And I liked 2013. I’ve mentioned it within the group that I really feel like the identical pump as after I first joined. And it was Purple Bull domination then: they had been simply going to win the fourth championship.”
‘Speaking shit’ clarification
Wolff not too long ago induced a stir when feedback attributed to him appeared to assault fellow F1 group bosses Zak Brown and Christian Horner.
In an interview with Austrian newspaper Osterreich, that was extensively translated into English, Wolff was requested what he felt about feedback from Brown who prompt that Mercedes would have an all-new driver line-up in 2022.
Wolff was quoted as saying: “Brown is like Christian Horner. They simply unfold shit. I don’t care.”
That interpretation of what he mentioned was seen by some as being a blatant assault on his fellow group bosses.
Nonetheless, Wolff has clarified that his feedback didn’t come throughout precisely, and what he truly mentioned was one thing completely completely different.
“I’ve respect for each of them,” he mentioned. “That was completely misquoted, and I believe it obtained actually misplaced in translation.
“I mentioned, ‘they offer one another shit lots’, and the way in which it was quoted is ‘they discuss shit’, which isn’t fairly the identical.
“Zak is an enormous a part of the Mercedes household and a buddy. With all of the banter that now we have between us, it isn’t one thing that I might accuse him of.”
Wolff mentioned that group bosses having banter between them was an important ingredient that attracted curiosity in F1, because it confirmed the aggressive battle between squads was actual.
“It is crucial as a result of, what it comes all the way down to, is rivalry,” he added. “We’re working in the identical circus, and it wants to offer leisure for our followers and audiences.
“However there’s additionally rivalry. Generally that may escalate into animosity, and that is a part of the game. However we mustn’t overlook: it is only a sport.”