Mercedes bouyed by Sochi win but Hamilton admits each race now 'super hard'

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For Mercedes, Sunday's victory at the Russian Grand Prix has offered reassurance after a tricky month.

The Brackley-based squad had lost to Ferrari at the past three races and was on course to make it four in Sochi before Sebastian Vettel's retirement triggered a Virtual Safety Car which allowed Lewis Hamilton to pit and eventually lead a 1-2 finish.

In response to recent defeats, negative vibes had been coming from Mercedes suggesting Ferrari are now ahead, but Wolff denied that meant his team could no longer win.

"I think first of all in the moment of joy now, we need to be self-aware that on pure speed we didn’t have the performance this weekend and there are many areas we need to work to get our performance levels back," the Austrian commented.

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"Equally the Sunday result shows you should never give up even if you go into the race with a package which is not the quickest.

"If you do the things right all of us, the drivers and the engineers and the management, then you can still win races."

After dominating most of the first half of 2019 though, Hamilton noted how the grid, not just Ferrari, has stepped up.

“What is really impressive is just seeing how we are fighting against the Ferraris who have a great pace, but Charles [Leclerc], Valtteri [Bottas], Seb [Vettel], Max [Verstappen], Carlos [Sainz] and so many of the drivers are really performing so well," he claimed.

“I think it is one of the best years I’ve seen drivers perform in terms of class performances which means everyone has to raise their bar including myself. I am enjoying that challenge.

“As I said [I take it] just one race at a time and the next race is going to be super hard to try to beat these guys again but not impossible as we showed today.”

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