Toto Wolff says Helmut Marko’s comments about Mercedes are ‘wrong’

Mercedes struggled to match the lap times of Ferrari and Red Bull during pre-season testing.

Lap times and results from pre-season testing should always be taken with a pinch of salt, as every team runs different tests, plans, tyres and fuel loads.

One thing that is for certain however is that Red Bull are the clear favourites to win the championship this year heading into the Bahrain Grand Prix, with the team topping the timing screens during every day of pre-season testing.

Mercedes looked some way behind Red Bull and Ferrari, with balance and reliability issues hindering the team’s testing and putting them slightly behind schedule going into the first race of the season.

Red Bull chief advisor Helmut Marko claimed that he saw Mercedes and Ferrari struggling with porpoising once again this year, after the bouncing completely derailed Mercedes’ 2022.

READ: McLaren make huge Max Verstappen and Lando Norris claim

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has outright rejected these claims, telling the media that “our car doesn’t jump and that’s a good start.”

“No, he is wrong. If he saw cars bouncing, it wasn’t ours,” said Wolff when asked about Marko’s quotes.

“On the other hand, they didn’t show everything in the tests and we haven’t cranked it up yet either. That’s why it’s all just coffee grind reading so far.

“In three days we’ll know what’s what.”

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Wolff has admitted that it may take some time for Mercedes to get up to speed with the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari this season, with the Silver Arrows currently some way off challenging Max Verstappen at the summit of F1.

It is reported that major upgrades to the W14 will be waiting for Mercedes once F1 returns to Europe, making the team capable of challenging for race wins after the first few rounds of the season.

Lewis Hamilton has been rumoured to sign a new contract with Mercedes for a number of months now, however after delaying this contract extension over the winter, it seems likely that the 38-year-old will wait to see how competitive his team are this year before making a final decision on his future in Formula 1.