That’s according to Toto Wolff, who has admitted Ferrari were “considerably faster” in the last race in Bahrain.
The F1 circus continues in Shanghai this weekend with the Chinese Grand Prix with Mercedes looking to maintain their positive start.
The Silver Arrows – who won both titles for a fifth straight year in 2018 – won in both Australia and Bahrain through Valtteri Bottas in Melbourne and then Lewis Hamilton in the Middle East.
Hamilton’s main title rival, Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile has yet to score a podium finish.
But Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was cruelly robbed of a first ever F1 victory in Bahrain when an engine failure cost him what seemed a certain victory when out in the lead, allowing both Hamilton and Bottas to pass to seal a second successive one-two finish to open the year.
However Mercedes team principal Wolff is well aware the red cars will hope to respond in China.
“Two races into the 2019 season, it may seem like we’re in a strong position,” the Austrian chief said to Mercedes’ official website.
“We have 87 points, just one below the maximum score. But the constructors’ standings do not tell the full story.
“The truth is that we weren’t as quick as our direct competitors throughout qualifying and the race in Bahrain.
“The Ferrari was considerably faster on the straights and this added up to several tenths around one lap.
“Nevertheless, the saying goes that ‘in order to finish first, first you have to finish’ and the combination of solid performances from the team, reliability of our systems and a strong drive from our drivers secured us the one-two.
“The challenge we are facing doesn’t daunt us, it’s uplifting. We will keep pushing to extract the maximum performance from our package to deliver the best race we can.
“We will try and exert pressure, maximise our opportunities and keep working hard to develop our overall package.
“We’ve seen exciting races so far this season and we’re looking forward to the next fight in Shanghai.”
The 2019 Chinese Grand Prix will mark the 1000th F1 race after nearly 70 years of the sport.
Mercedes boast a strong record at this race, winning five of the last seven races including four straight between 2014 and 2017 before Daniel Ricciardo’s success in the Red Bull last year.
Hamilton is a five-time winner on the Shanghai International Circuit circuit with Vettel still seeking his first triumph here since 2009.