2016 F1

Wolff warns Ferrari and Red Bull almost equal with Mercedes

Wolff warns Ferrari and Red Bull almost equal with Mercedes

Wolff warns Ferrari and Red Bull almost equal with Mercedes

Toto Wolff says Mercedes will work hard to maintain its position at the top of the F1 tree.

Lewis Hamilton left Montreal with a second consecutive win but boss Wolff says Mercedes’ rivals are getting perilously close.

“The pace of Ferrari and Red Bull (in Canada) showed that the competition is right there with us. We need to get everything right in order to maintain our position at the front,” Wolff said.

The Austrian said the Brackley based team must work “very hard” not only to “make the power unit better”, but also so that a major aerodynamic package is debuted “as soon as possible”.

Reports suggest that while a major bodywork upgrade was scheduled for Hungary, that is being pushed forward for the British grand prix early next month.

That is because Ferrari and Red Bull, having already narrowed the gap, are also working hard.

Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport said Ferrari will spend yet another performance ‘token’ for its internal combustion engine for Silverstone.

And although big rule changes are coming for 2017, Red Bull is also vowing to continue developing its RB12 throughout the entire 21-race calendar.

“As always, until the end of the season,” answered Dr Helmut Marko when asked how protracted Red Bull’s 2016 development programme would be.

“It’s not as if suddenly the wider cars (for 2017) will turn the aerodynamic laws upside down — many concepts of today can be transferred to 2017,” Marko insisted.

And Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel told Bild newspaper: “All our improvements so far have proved effective. In a few races we were still a long way from Mercedes, but although it won’t be easy, there will come a time when we’re in front.”

There have, however, been suggestions that Ferrari and Red Bull are pushing the boundaries when it comes to flexible wings, but amid some controversy the cars were deemed legal by the FIA in Canada.

An unnamed engineer told Auto Bild: “All wings move at high speed — this is nothing new.”

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