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Wolff braced for ‘strong’ Red Bull and improved McLaren in 2021

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has said he expects a “definitely strong” title challenge from Red Bull in the forthcoming Formula 1 season and highlighted McLaren with Daniel Ricciardo as a potential threat at the front of the grid.

The Austrian said he sees Dutchman Max Verstappen and Red Bull as the main competition for Mercedes, especially with Honda keen to make its mark in the manufacturers’ final year in the sport, while the addition of Sergio Perez as its second driver means its rivals have “a strong second iron in the fire,” he told broadcaster RTL. Meanwhile Wolff also said the team is wary of the threat posed by a much-improved McLaren, saying that the Woking-based outfit can cause some surprises with Daniel Ricciardo alongside Lando Norris at the top of the standings. Elsewhere on the grid the Mercedes team principal highlighted the potential of the Aston Martin team, saying he would watch the progress of Sebastian Vettel at his new employer with interest while refusing to count out Ferrari and Renault, which he said made “large steps forward” last year.

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