Mercedes: Red Bull "seeing ghosts" over engine oil burn

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff says rival Red Bull must have been seeing 'ghosts' if it thought his team had been up to dirty tricks with its engine, following the latest clarification aimed at the German manufacturer.

Mercedes: Red Bull "seeing ghosts" over engine oil burn
Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H

With Ferrari having queried over the winter the legality of the kind of trick suspension systems run by Mercedes and Red Bull, the latter outfit wrote to the FIA more recently to check about teams burning oil as fuel.

It came against the backdrop of suspicions that Mercedes could have been delivering a boost to its form in qualifying by doing just that.

But Wolff has laughed off any suggestions of wrongdoing from his team – and says Mercedes’ brilliant form on Saturday was simply down to good engine mapping.

Asked by Gazzetta dello Sport for the reason why Red Bull had sought clarification on the matter, Wolff said: “They have seen ghosts.

“We have had for years a map that allows us to use more horsepower in qualifying. It is nothing new. Maybe in Australia there will be protests, but Mercedes feels safe.”

Ferrari response

Wolff believes that Mercedes has a proper fight on its hands this season if it is going to win its fourth consecutive world championship double.

And although many people expected Red Bull to pose its biggest threat, Ferrari has emerged stronger from winter testing – something that Wolff was not too surprised about.

"No, it is a solid team, with the right resources, capable engineers and energetic and motivated leader,” he said.

“It’s logical to expect a competitive Ferrari. In tests it was the fastest car and covered many kilometres.

“I see Ferrari on the podium on Sunday in Australia, and I hope that we will fight with them for victory.”

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