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2014-03-25 09:24

PERFORMANCE IN DOUBT: Mercedes designer Aldo Costa doubts the team's 2014 title contender will dominate in 2014. Image: AFP

Is Mercedes playing mind games or has team designer Aldo Costa bringing a flaw in the team's new W05 Formula 1 car to light?

Team mates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg dominated the season-opening race in Melbourne. Many observers believed Rosberg had hidden performance to spare on the Albert Park roads.

Costa, who joined Mercedes from Ferrari  and led the design of the new W05 car, does not think the German marque will dominate throughout 2014.

'REMARKABLE PERFORMANCE'

Costa said: "No, I don't think we can talk about dominance. We have seen the progress that Red Bull made between the Bahrain test and the first race. They were much more competitive than they were in winter testing."

Costa agrees that the performance of the 'power unit' is particularly important in F1's new era, but he doubts that Mercedes is as far ahead of Ferrari and Renault as some currently believe.

Costa said: "The Renault engine has remarkable performance. So probably their deficit at this time is that they cannot maintain this level of performance throughout a race because of temperature, or fatigue.

"But I think that this is a problem that will gradually be solved."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 F1 season – fresh reports every day.
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