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Wolff: Red Bull recovery 'phenomenal'

ESPN Staff
March 20, 2014 « Red Bull formally lodges appeal | Williams yet to peak - Bottas »
Red Bull was not expected to be competing with Mercedes in the opening race © Sutton Images

Toto Wolff believes Red Bull's recovery for the Australian Grand Prix was "phenomenal", and vindication of his desire to play down Mercedes' advantage before the season opener.

Though Nico Rosberg waltzed to a comfortable victory in Australia, Red Bull demonstrated it certainly has a quick car, with Daniel Ricciardo crossing the line in second before his disqualification. Wolff insists nobody at Mercedes is dwelling on its early advantage, especially as Ricciardo's pace suggested Red Bull is closer than many gave it credit for.

"If you look at some of the teams and their development curve it was quite phenomenal what Red Bull managed to achieve," Wolff said. "I don't think you can every lean back and say that this is a comfortable buffer," Wolff said. "In a regular season you would have about two seconds of development curve from the beginning to the end of the season. So with these new cars the development curve is going to be even steeper. Considering that fact, an advantage can quickly turn in to not an advantage anymore within a couple of races."

The two pre-season favourites were Mercedes and Williams, but the latter failed to capitilise on its pace as Felipe Massa was knocked out on lap one by Kamui Kobayashi, while Valtteri Bottas' mistake on lap 10 ultimately cost him a chance at a podium, and Wolff believes the team is yet to show its true potential.

"If you look at Valtteri's pace before he hit the wall - and then his steering wheel was not completely straight - and then his pace afterwards, I would say if they have a normal race and qualify better than [Melbourne] then probably they would have ended up on the podium. I'm quite sure they would have ended up on the podium."

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