Wolff is not 'talking Mercedes down' when he claims Ferrari is ahead

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Toto Wolff insists he doesn't "talk Mercedes down" when suggesting Ferrari remains the team to beat.

The story has been pretty much the same at every Grand Prix this season, with the German manufacturer playing down expectations ahead of the weekend only to finish 1-2 on Sunday.

Even now, after a fourth perfect result in Baku, the Austrian is adamant it does not reflect the true picture of their relative performance.

"I think Ferrari in qualifying is still at the top in terms of top speed, but in the race, they are not able to exploit this factor,” he was quoted by GPBlog.com.

"On our side, we are able to make everything work well, the team did not make any mistakes [in Baku] and we managed our strategies and the drivers were perfect.

"If we look at Ferrari on the various circuits so far, obviously they have had a lot of problems so far.”

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Most see Wolff's comments as more like mind games and then believe Mercedes sandbag their performance until letting loose in qualifying.

"What can I say? We don't talk ourselves down," the Mercedes boss stated. "You can say, 'stop saying these things', but we think there are so many things we need to understand and improve better.

"We see a strong Ferrari on Friday and Saturday, and I still believe Charles [Leclerc] was the fastest man on the track in Baku."