It's no secret that Mercedes is playing catch up after starting the 2023 Formula 1 season with a car concept that still persists with the issues they encountered last year.
Pre-season testing thew up problems for the team and then the opening round exposed the inherent downforce and tyre degradation issues, which the team feared they would be carrying into this season.
Finishing over 50 seconds behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen at the end of the Bahrain Grand Prix, George Russell said he would not be surprised if the team went on to win every race this season with their "very strong" RB19.
Team boss Toto Wolff shares this view after seeing Red Bull's blistering pace at the opening round.
"After the first Grand Prix, I also believe that they will win every race this year," he told Austrian publication OE24.
When asked if Mercedes could mount a title challenge after a disappointing season last year, Wolff offered a bleak assessment: "This year this is no longer going to work out."
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Wolff on Aston Martin: They hire a Red Bull guy and suddenly they're two seconds quicker
One of the main storylines in 2023 has been the emergence of Aston Martin as a podium contender.
Wolff believes their hiring of former Red Bull Aerodynamicist, Dan Fallows, was a key signing for the team that has led to them producing a car better than the Mercedes works team using the same aero facilities.
"They did a really good job: They got a Red Bull man who managed to make the car suddenly two seconds faster," he said.
"A year ago, they were 17th and 19th. We know that Alonso is strong and motivated, but even Lance Stroll drove along with two broken hands and a broken toe at the front.
"This proves how good the car is. I've never seen such a jump in F1."
With Red Bull having cruised to a 1-2 finish in Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix, RacingNews365.com journalists Michael Butterworth and Dieter Rencken analyse how much we should read into their early dominance.