After Max Verstappen retired from qualifying with driveshaft problems, Toto Wolff joked that the Dutchman has "done it on purpose" to show he can win from the back.
"Maybe he's done it on purpose? You know, Stefano [Domenicali] has given them some kind of squeeze!" said the Mercedes team boss.
Verstappen has shown he can win from outside the top ten before in his Formula 1 career, with the RB19 showing that it has the pace to blitz the field after winning by over 30 seconds in Bahrain
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Wolff: Verstappen has a second 'in hand' over everyone else
After setting the quickest time in all three practice sessions, Verstappen was favourite to take pole of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Wolff says he would not be surprised if he saw him win from 15th on the grid, believing the Red Bull driver has one second per lap "in hand" over everyone else.
"No, I think he has so much pace that if he has a second in hand or more per-lap, how many laps are we doing tomorrow? 50. So that's 50 seconds," he explained.
"I think he can do that, we've seen it from Lewis [Hamilton] in the past."