Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the team’s “marginal” situation regarding engine cooling acts as a concern for this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.
The full-throttle sections at the Red Bull Ring are expected to play to the strengths of Ferrari, which has held a straight-line speed advantage in 2019.
Western and Central Europe is also currently in the midst of a heatwave, with temperatures set to potentially exceed 30ËšC this weekend in Austria.
“I think when you look at Ferrari’s strengths this year [it] is power, and we are not able to match them this year,” said Wolff.
“Up the hills that can certainly be to their advantage, and on the cooling this year we are marginal.
“We are certainly looking to optimise the situation but looking at the forecast in Spielberg with 32 degrees, that has not been ever the case.
“That could be much more difficult for us to manage.”
Mercedes nonetheless holds a substantial 140-point buffer in the Constructors’ Championship, having won all eight races so far this season.
The fight between its two drivers started off as a close-run encounter but Lewis Hamilton’s fourth win in succession means he now holds a 36-point advantage over Valtteri Bottas.
“We will do everything in order to make sure Valtteri is in a good place” stressed Wolff.
“He knows that we are absolutely neutral and we are trying to give both of them equal material and equal opportunity.
“With a decent start in some of the last few races he could have won one or two of them, and he knows that.
“I’m optimistic that Valtteri just needs one good weekend to come closer again to Lewis and not let him run away with the championship.”