Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff has conceded the team are no longer title favourites after Ferrari moved ahead of them in the constructors’ championship at the last race.
Ferrari’s one-two in the Monaco Grand Prix put them 17 points ahead of Mercedes, who came away with fourth and seventh places for Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton trails Monaco winner Sebastian Vettel by 25 points in the drivers’ championship.
“It’s painful, but we are not the favourites for this year’s championship,” Wolff admitted. “At the moment it’s Ferrari.”
They have a very strong package and we need to rise to the challenge to prove once again that we are the team to beat. There are still 14 races left and everything is completely open. We’re looking forward to Montreal and the chance to bounce back with a strong result – hopefully producing valuable answers to some tough questions in the process.”
Wolff revealed the team has responded to the difficulties it experienced in Monaco in much the same way it did to their disappointing performance in the 2015 Singapore Grand Prix.
“We’ve had bruising weekends before and it’s about showing resilience and getting up after falling,” he said.
“I remember the troubles we had in Singapore in 2015, which hurt badly. We gave ourselves a deadline to address that setback before switching our focus to the next race in Suzuka, which we won. We’ve done exactly the same thing after Monaco – addressing the problems before turning our attention to Montreal. We know that this season is a marathon, not a sprint.”