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Toto Wolff unsure Mercedes could have beaten Ferrari in Australia

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Mercedes Formula 1 chief Toto Wolff is unsure that the team could have beaten Ferrari to victory in Australia even if it had perfected its strategy.

Lewis Hamilton led the early part of the race from pole position for Mercedes, only to make an early pit stop after struggling on his super-soft tires.

After losing time stuck behind Max Verstappen, Hamilton lost the lead of the race to Sebastian Vettel, who was then able to pull away and win the opening race of the year for Ferrari.

The result did little to resolve who of Mercedes and Ferrari is quicker in 2017 following the tight battle between Vettel and Hamilton, but Wolff was confident that the advantage lay in the Italian marque’s camp.

“We thought that Max would pit earlier and then Lewis would be in free air. It was a combination of variables that went against us,” Wolff explained when asked about Mercedes’ strategy, as quoted by the official F1 website.

“In hindsight you are always smarter. But as a general summary we weren’t quick enough – that’s why Sebastian is the deserved winner.

“For sure we could have done better. Would we have been good enough to win? I don’t know. Sebastian could have attempted the undercut at any stage and it could have come up the same way.

“But why we didn’t have the pace at the beginning of the race, in these conditions, I don’t know.”

Mercedes has enjoyed an impressive record in F1 since the start of the V6 turbo era in 2014, with Sunday’s loss to Ferrari being just the ninth race it had failed to win in that period.

Wolff was sure that the team would take the loss on the chin and be stronger for it, with its focus immediately being on bouncing back in China on April 9.

“It is personality-building! But in the end you win some and lose some,” Wolff said.

“We have been very fortunate in the last three years that we’ve won most of the races –now it is about accepting that Ferrari have beaten us. But we will come out stronger out of this weekend.

“We didn’t have a great pre-season and we haven’t had a great Sunday today, but we will leave no stone unturned to get better.”

Formula 1: Recapping the past week’s news

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This past week in Formula 1 was dominated by teams launching their 2018 challengers for the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season.

A total of six teams took the covers off their new chassis for the world to see this week, joining Haas F1 Team and Williams Martini Racing in doing so.

The list below contains the teams that launched their 2018 chassis this week and the name of their 2018 chassis:

  • Red Bull Racing – RB14
  • Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team – C37
  • Renault Sport F1 Team – R.S.18
  • Scuderia Ferrari – SJ71H
  • Mercedes AMG Petronas – W09
  • McLaren F1 Team – MCL33

Testing for everyone begins on Monday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, home of the Spanish Grand Prix, beginning a stretch of two weeks of pre-season testing prior to the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Sahara Force India and Scuderia Toro Rosso are expected to unveil their 2018 cars the morning of the first day of testing.

Force India Up for Sale?

Rumors about the future of Sahara Force India, already rumored to be changing names soon, took yet another interesting this week as news surfaced about a possible sale of the team to British energy drink firm Rich Energy.

This news also comes as current majority team owner Dr. Vijay Mallya faces developing legal troubles involving money laundering, further adding to the murky environment surrounding a team that has become the “best of the rest” behind Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull in recent years.