Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel has suggested that Mercedes’ advantage in Formula 1 this year is so large that they could win every grand prix.
Mercedes has won each title since 2014 but in recent years has faced a renewed challenge from Ferrari, while Red Bull has also posed a threat.
But this season Mercedes has pulled clear of its opponents and has held a sizeable pace advantage at all four grands prix held so far.
Max Verstappen’s 0.538s gap to Valtteri Bottas in Austria is the closest a non-Mercedes driver has got to the reigning champions in qualifying this year.
Verstappen was over a second down on Lewis Hamilton’s pole position effort at last weekend’s British Grand Prix.
Hamilton, after four events, holds a 30-point advantage over Bottas in the Drivers’ Championship, with third-placed Verstappen a further six points behind.
Bottas won the opening round in Austria while Hamilton triumphed at the same venue a week later, before adding further victories in Hungary and Britain.
“I mean obviously Mercedes is in a great position this year,” said Vettel, ahead of this weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone.
“Lewis is in a great position to do well, and they might as well win every race, I don’t see why not.
“The car is good enough, Lewis is in a good form.
“I don’t know how many races we will have – I think this is probably the bigger question mark other than who will win them!”
No Formula 1 team has ever won every grand prix in the course of a single season.
McLaren came closest in 1988, taking 15 victories from 16 attempts, while Mercedes holds the all-time record of most wins in one year, with 19 from 21 starts in 2016.
Vettel holds the record of most consecutive victories after taking nine on the bounce across the second half of 2013.