Mercedes' Andrew Shovlin believes the balance of power will swing to and fro between them and Red Bull in 2021.
With Mercedes beating an arguably faster Red Bull in Bahrain, Red Bull struck back at Imola to rectify their first race miss. Just a single point separates Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, and Shovlin believes this closeness will continue throughout the entire season.
Asked whether he thought Mercedes had made inroads into the slight pace advantage Red Bull seem to have, Shovlin told media, including RacingNews365, "It's difficult to say on a sample of two tracks.
"Bahrain's not always been our favourite circuit, but I think this weekend we've been able to put them under more consistent pressure than we were able to in Bahrain.
"I think you could look at the qualifying and say they should have perhaps locked out the front row looking at their laps, but then I'm not sure we got everything out of our package.
"I think we could have done a better job, struggling with it with tire temperature we could have perhaps done done a better job there.
"However, two races in it feels to me like there's everything to play for."
The next round of the championship is in Portugal next weekend, and Shovling admitted there's still to be done on the W12 to keep up with Red Bull's strong start to the season.
"We know that we need to make the car quicker. We know that we need to work on all the fine details that I don't think this weekend we've necessarily done a perfect job of and there's a lot of work to do, but it certainly feels like this is going to be an exciting championship.
"It doesn't feel like one where either of us are going to run away with it in terms of performance, and we are working hard to develop the car in the next few races and hopefully it will bring some useful improvements."