Test results put pressure on Ferrari says Hakkinen

Toto Wolff has denied claims Mercedes adopted a strategy to "bluff" its way through the recent winter test season.

Interest in the 2017 pecking order is almost unprecedented, amid the big rule changes and the perception Ferrari has closed the gap and perhaps even passed Mercedes.

But former F1 chief Eddie Jordan actually thinks Ferrari was "trying to pretend" it was the 2017 favourite during the winter.

"I hope I'm wrong," he told the Times.

But if Jordan is right, former champion Mika Hakkinen thinks that strategy is a mistake.

"In the tests I think Ferrari has really put pressure on itself," he told the Finnish broadcaster MTV.

"If at the first race it doesn't go as well as the tests, it's really tough to cope with that drop in the season. The effect can be negative and it can lead to hasty decisions," Hakkinen added.

F1 legend Gerhard Berger thinks Mercedes was actually hiding its game in testing.

"Mercedes didn't show anything in Barcelona," the new DTM series boss told Sport Bild. "Still, they are close to Ferrari and Red Bull.

"They want to make the series more exciting, so they will be driving politically during the season. But I think Ferrari has done a good job and is closer," added Berger.

Mercedes chief Wolff denies Berger's claim.

"We do not bluff, we just did our programme. How good we really are, we will know at the earliest after qualifying," he said.

(GMM)

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