Toto Wolff believes "everything is easier" for Red Bull driver Max Verstappen in 2022, armed with what the Mercedes boss claims is this season's car to beat.
Verstappen became the first driver to take back-to-back wins in the campaign when he crossed the line first in the Miami Grand Prix. It was his third consecutive P1 after triumphing in both the Sprint and the main race at Imola.
Additionally, while the 2021 season saw him become embroiled in a dramatic title battle with Lewis Hamilton, so far his fight with Charles Leclerc has been civil and incident-free.
Wolff says momentum is heading in Verstappen's way
But the reason for that contrast is a change for Verstappen, says Wolff, with the World Champion now allowed to relax his approach thanks to having the fastest car on the grid.
"Last year Max Verstappen used a crowbar (drove aggressively) with a less good car and became World Champion. Now that he has the fastest car, everything is easier for him," said Wolff, speaking to Austrian outlet Sport24Auto.
"The momentum is now heading his way."
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Barcelona could be mini-milestone for Mercedes
Verstappen will be out to make it three wins on the spin in Barcelona as F1 returns to the scene of its first pre-season test of 2022.
Mercedes, meanwhile, are still trying to find a way to catch the race-winning Ferrari and Red Bull cars ahead of them.
"Barcelona will be interesting for us because we tested there with a fast car in February," explained Wolff.
"We want to continue there now. That could be a mini-milestone in that direction.
"But we have to be realistic: we're still only third behind Red Bull and Ferrari."
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