Mercedes' job to perform, not create excitement - Toto Wolff
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his team cannot be blamed for the processional nature of Formula 1 races in 2019, but can understand the frustration of spectators who feel the sport has become predictable.
Mercedes has taken five successive 1-2 finishes to mark the best start by one team to any season in the history of the sport.
Four of those five 1-2s have been decided on the opening lap of a grand prix, with Mercedes’ other success coming courtesy of Charles Leclerc’s engine dramas and Sebastian Vettel’s spin in Bahrain on the sole weekend in which they were slower than Ferrari.
The triumphs come in the wake of Mercedes having secured both world titles for the past five years, and in only two seasons – 2014 and 2016 – has the fight gone down to the last event.
“I'm in an awkward position,” said Wolff. “Actually, I'm not in an awkward position. I'm in a pretty clear position, because we're really trying to perform as well as we can.
“We pushed the benchmark and we push the needle and we try to be better as a group every single day and every single year.
“This team coming together with the struggles that we had in the winter is just a super satisfaction for the team and the group and this is what my personal feeling is."
Wolff nonetheless sympathised with fans who want more variation in Formula 1.
“Then on the other side if I take myself out from my Mercedes standpoint and all of the group, of course as a fan you want variability and unpredictability," he said.
“We all enjoyed Liverpool coming back as strong as they did and Spurs making it against all odds.
“I had the laptop on my knees watching the game when we saw Liverpool beating Barcelona.
“As a fan and as a spectator, I can relate to the sport needing to have a certain variability.
“But where we are, it can't be an objective for us.
“I also feel that it's bad karma if we were to really think that we are walking on water - then next weekend you're going to get one in the face for sure.”
Mercedes has won 13 of the last 16 grands prix, defeated only by Ferrari in Belgium and the USA last year, and by Red Bull in Mexico.