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Wolff loving battle with Ferrari and Red Bull

24 April 2018 15:39

Toto Wolff says Mercedes are loving an "amazing battle" with Ferrari and Red Bull and will head into the Azerbaijan Grand Prix expecting the unexpected.

Daniel Ricciardo won the Chinese Grand Prix last time out after championship leader Sebastian Vettel was wiped out by Max Verstappen.

Vettel topped the podium in the opening two races of the season, but the Ferrari driver leads Mercedes' defending champion Lewis Hamilton by just nine points after he could only finish eighth in Shanghai.

Mercedes are only a point ahead of Ferrari in the constructor standings, with Red Bull 30 adrift.

Wolff is relishing the competition and the Silver Arrows boss says he has no idea what to expect in Baku this weekend.

"So far, this year has all the ingredients for one of those legendary F1 seasons - a season that fans will look back on with smiles on their faces in years to come," he said.

"And it's not just the fans at home or at the race track who are excited - we feel the same. And we know that we have a massive challenge on our hands.

"Last year, we were in a tough fight with Ferrari. However, it was nothing compared to the intensity of this year's battle."

Wolff added: "Both Red Bull and Ferrari will do everything they can to beat us. Their cars, their teams, their drivers - all of them operate at a high level and will continue to put us under pressure.

"Not everyone likes this kind of challenge - but we love it. Each member of our team joined this sport for these moments. We're all together in an amazing battle in which every detail counts and with an outcome no-one can predict.

"We're going into the race weekend in Baku feeling excited about that unpredictability. It will be the first time the Azerbaijan Grand Prix takes place in April, with completely different conditions to the previous years when we went to the Caspian Sea in June.

"This is a demanding circuit where the drivers need confidence in the car to find the right rhythm - and you want to hit the ground running on Friday morning. Last year's race threw up a podium that nobody could have predicted and, as is the way with street courses, we can once again expect the unexpected."

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