Wolff on why he plays down Mercedes: We never see ourselves as favourites

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Toto Wolff says the reason he often downplays Mercedes' expectations is the team never consider themselves as favourites.

It is fairly custom now for the Brackley-based outfit, who have convincingly won the past six Drivers' and Constructors' championship don't forget, to suggest their rivals may be faster before a weekend and then, more often than not, be the quickest.

 This scenario has played out so regularly in fact, that most now see it as a mind game, but Wolff insists that isn't the case.

“We have never seen ourselves as favourites over the years,” the motorsport boss told RTL.

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“Some may say now: ‘Not again! They always play down’.

“But that is our mindset is that it’s never enough because that forces us to bring innovation to the car and to call up performance quickly.

“That’s why I don’t say: who is favourite? Because of our position in recent years, we have of course been among the favourites. But there is also Red Bull and Ferrari.”

After some great battles in 2019, this year is expected to be the closest between the top three teams in the hybrid era, but we'll have to wait until Austria in July to find out if that is the case.