Johannesburg [South Africa], Apr.13 : Mercedes chief executive Toto Wolff has said that his team have adopted an underdog mentality as they are expecting a `ping-pong battle` with Ferrari for remainder of the 2017 season.
Three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton took Mercedes back to the top of the podium in last weekend's Chinese Grand Prix after Sebastian Vettel won the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in his Ferrari.
Following the two races, the pair are levelled on points in the drivers' championship and Wolff believes that pattern would continue to develop as the season progresses.
"China was a great way to hit back in the battle with Ferrari.We are very close on pace and I expect a bit of a ping-pong battle through the season, depending on the track.
That's exciting for everyone," Sport24 quoted Wolff as saying. "Two races into the season and now it is 1:1 between Mercedes and Ferrari. And after racing on a very different circuit, in very different conditions, it's clear that we are very closely matched - and that small margins will make the difference," he added.
Mercedes, however, holds a narrow lead in the constructors' championship. Wolff said that his team would keep working on correcting their errors and improving their performances.
"Our one point lead in the constructors' championship is anything but a comfortable margin. We need to - and we will - keep working with everything we have got to develop our car, correct our errors and continue improving.Our mindset is that of the underdog - not the Champion.
And the fight has just begun," Wolff said. The 2017 season of Formula 1 continues this weekend with the Bahrain Grand Prix..