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F1 teams admit Ferrari's pace 'surprising'

2017-03-03 10:33

IMPRESSIVE, FERRARI: Ferrari impressed during the first pre-season test at the Catalunya racetrack in Montmelo, outside Barcelona, Spain. Image: AP / Francisco Seco

Spain - Toto Wolff says it is too soon to say Mercedes is still ahead of the field in 2017.

After the first of just two pre-season tests, the conventional wisdom is that Mercedes leads, Ferrari is close behind, and Red Bull is the third force.

Just getting mileage

Mercedes team boss Wolff admitted to Osterreich newspaper: "Since we have these new rules, the teams are just trying to get a lot of mileage to know their cars. At Red Bull, we probably haven't seen the car that will be in Melbourne. But Ferrari is really fast."

McLaren chief Eric Boullier admits that a pecking order is not possible to assess after four days of running, but he said Ferrari's pace has been "surprising".

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He is quoted by France's Auto Hebdo: "We did not expect to see them on the pace with the Mercedes. Red Bull seems a little behind, but we do not have all of the information to judge. We may know a little more next week, but we really have to wait until Australia."

Boullier may be surprised with what he saw in Barcelona, but Red Bull's Max Verstappen seemed calm.

Verstappen is quoted by Het Laatste Nieuws: "Actually, nothing surprised me here. And I think everything is still within reach for us."

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