Wolff: True pecking order will now emerge

Ferrari under pressure (2:21)

Maurice Hamilton and Jennie Gow talk about the pressure that Ferrari are under as Mercedes continue to dominate Formula One this season. (2:21)

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is expecting the true order at the front of the grid to begin to emerge in the next few races after his team dominated the opening four races.

Mercedes has won all four races this year, with two one-two victories and a winning margin of over 30 seconds from Ferrari at the last two rounds. But despite the world champion’s apparent dominance, Wolff believes the 2016 true order will emerge at the coming races as teams bring big updates to their cars.

“We’re going to see some big upgrades from the different teams and power unit suppliers over the next few races, so now is the time we can truly assess the pecking order,” Wolff said. “Barcelona will be an interesting weekend from that perspective, so we must be prepared.”

Wolff admits Mercedes is walking a fine line between success and failure in its pursuit of performance after a number of reliability issues emerged in recent races.

“Assessing our season so far is an interesting task. On the one side, we are leading the constructors’ championships by a good margin and our drivers hold the top two positions in the drivers’ standings. So, realistically speaking, it’s tough to ask for more.

“However, it has not been plain sailing and we have had problems that we are working hard to solve. We have rivals breathing down our necks who are relentless in their chase. The longer regulations remain stable, the harder it is to find extra performance. We are pushing the limits to ensure we remain competitive – but if you push the limits then at a certain stage you risk stepping over them. The whole team, on both the chassis and power unit side, is working flat out to extract every millisecond from our package without compromising reliability.

“This is a group of great engineers and I have no doubt that they are going to achieve that. We are always learning as a team. In Hungary and Singapore last year, we took a couple of big hits. But we came out of those races stronger and we continue to learn from our struggles.”