Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says that his team must not get 'depressed' about Ferrari's superb form at the Singapore Grand Prix, and instead should maintain faith in its own strong 2015 pace.
Ferrari has thrust itself back into contention for the F1 world championship with Sebastian Vettel's dominant victory at the Marina Bay circuit, on a weekend when Mercedes badly struggled.
Vettel is now just 49 points adrift of championship leader Lewis Hamilton in the standings, and said after his triumph at the weekend that his outfit could still make 'the impossible, possible' by pushing on for the title.
Wolff is well aware how serious the Ferrari threat is right now, but insists his outfit should not panic and think that the Singapore result is evidence that its Maranello rival has made a dramatic step forward in form.
But he does concede that the engine update Ferrari introduced at the Italian Grand Prix appears to have got it much closer to Mercedes pace.
“We have already seen that already in Monza when they bought the new engine, and they continued to develop the car since then,” explained Wolff. “But we should not fall into depression.
“Remember Spa they had a very difficult weekend and the car was not good enough for a podium. We must stay focused and aware that we are a very solid team and solid car and solid engine.”
No team orders
Although the ever-increasing threat from Vettel means there is a risk of Mercedes duo Hamilton and Nico Rosberg taking points off each other, Wolff has ruled out imposing any team orders.
“We leave them to go ahead [and race], we always did that from the beginning,” he said, when asked if the team would continue to give Hamilton and Rosberg free reign to fight for wins.
“We had a bigger margin last year and that has shrunk quite dramatically because of the [Singapore] DNF of Lewis, but normally it will not be the case that Seb wins every race and Lewis DNFs every race.”
He added: “Yes it is worrying but you shouldn't fall into panic mode. We have won so many races and we know what to do. This time we were caught out and we need to know why.
“Suzuka thankfully comes soon, if it is not affected by heavy rain. So then we see.”