Wolff: Hamilton and Rosberg are better than Alonso and Raikkonen

Toto Wolff with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg

Toto Wolff with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg

With Mercedes already cast as the early title favourite, boss Toto Wolff  is adamant that the Silver Arrows have the best pair of drivers in Formula 1, but is tipping reigning Champions Red Bull to bounce back from an early crisis.

In the driver department, Wolff said Mercedes  lacks nothing – not even compared to Ferrari‘s ‘superteam’ of Champions Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.

“Our pair is better!” Wolff proclaimed. “The other two [Alonso-Raikkonen] are strong, but I would not trade Hamilton and Rosberg for anyone in the world.”

Nevertheless Mercedes’ commercial chief and co-owner Wolff, is being cautious, despite the new silver W05 managing something at Jerez that no other team could – a full race simulation.

Nico Rosberg did good mileage in the Mercedes W05 at Jerez

Nico Rosberg did good mileage in the Mercedes W05 at Jerez

“It was more than we expected with the debut of the new Power Unit,” the Austrian told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “But we are cautious.

“Our integrated approach brought benefits to the operation of the systems and reliability, and supplying four teams helps us to collect information,” he said. “But only in Melbourne will we evaluate the performance.”

It has been said that Mercedes as well as Ferrari – as the only works chassis-engine makers in the pitlane – have a clear advantage in Formula 1′s all-new V6-powered era.

“At this stage [yes],” Wolff admitted, “but certainly in the long term I would say no. Red Bull and Renault have had a big handicap not to have driven the four days, but it is too early to talk about overturning hierarchies.”

Only blip for Mercedes at Jerez was when Lewis Hamilton crashed due to a frnt wing failure

Only blip for Mercedes at Jerez was when Lewis Hamilton crashed due to a front wing failure

“It’s not good for Formula 1 that a manufacturer is in trouble, but I am sure that they will come back strongly. Hopefully a bit less than before!” he added.

Wolff, referring to Sebastian Vettel, told Auto Bild: “First, they have an outstanding driver.”

“Secondly, they have put together a group of people that works very well. Thirdly, they have the resources from the parent company.”

“So there’s no reason that Red Bull will not once again be the benchmark.”

Finally, Wolff spoke about Formula 1′s controversially-milder V6 engine tones for 2014, and the ‘ugly’ new noses.

Mercedes 'crew' watch proceedings at Jerez

Mercedes ‘crew’ watch proceedings at Jerez

“I think the engines sound great on the straights,” Wolff told La Gazzetta. “Mainly because you can even hear the hissing of the turbo. I like it, and the critics will get used to it – it’s a spectacular, modern sound.”

As for the noses, it has been said that Mercedes’ solution is arguably among the most attractive of an otherwize unseemly bunch.

Wolff said: “Honestly, I don’t really like any of them, even if we have more of a classical approach. But that doesn’t mean that we are not still considering some possible variations in the wind tunnel.” (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • TheDudeson

    Prediction: both these partnerships will implode this season – probably Kimi-Fernando first to go and Nico-Lewis too good to be true…

  • Red Horizon

    Wolff is, already for some time, famous in F1 to say a lot of rubbish.

  • TheDudeson

    Red Horizon – I agree

  • Gary Merrilees

    He’s obviously going to say that. Every team member would say the same about their drivers. They are a strong team but, as good as Fernando and Kimi? I think not.

  • nik

    IN YOUR DREAMS Mr. WOLFF

  • General Rush Hour

    I see it as this,

    The fastest(Hamilton) and the smartest(Rosberg) against the best(Alonso) and the most consistent(Raikkonen)

    I´d say despite Rosberg not having a world title, they are incredibly even in abilities.

  • Tamburello1994

    Rosberg gotta to win a championship to be even in the team photo if you’re even going to make that comparison. Nico’s is on the up, But that’s somewhat disrespectful to former world champions.

    Nico wins the crown this year – we might have to re-visit it.

  • d rok

    kimi and alonso any day !

  • http://darrenstuart.com ninjamonk

    yeah totally agree, I think Kimi might beat Alonso and Lewis will beat Nico.

  • Boycottthebull

    As a pairing I think he is right even though I think Alonso is better than the two Mercedes drivers but if the car is not absolutely set up to his liking Kimi will fall over as usual leaving Alonso to do al the work. And the cars will be unpredictable and quirky first time out. The comments saying Kimi is consistant are hilarious there was certainly no consistency last season and that was with a proven engine and chassis reliability.

  • fools

    Pffff… What a winter joke that was to say…

  • frontline99

    Umm… no. Sorry. I think Rosberg might have a championship in him, but better than Kimi and Fernando? No way.

  • Rockie

    Lol he would say that won’t he’s believing the fight for the WDC is between Merc and Ferrari, I think come Melbourne there would be a few tears!

  • farizY

    Not surprising for him to praise his boys. Let the game, begins!

  • Paul Cutts

    He’s correct even though technically the ferrari drivers have more talent combined the fact is alonso is a very poor team player and kimi will take the piss out of him so they will fall out and that will ost points., do you think kimi will move over to let alonso win?? “fernando is faster than you” to kimi would mean he would knock him off the track. They wont share info to make both cars faster they will hate each other while the merc drivers are very close m8s from years back and do work together well, for those reason i think the harmony and cooperation will be a better combination .

  • Paul Cutts

    I think the Ferrari pair will implode very soon but not the merc drivers and that makes wolff correct

  • Badchimpy

    I don’t understand why everyone fawns over Kimi, he’s a good driver, but not in the same league with Alonso. Kimi will be just like Massa last year in the Ferrari. His boorish behavior will come to the fore once Alonso starts beating him on a regular basis.