Mercedes seemed to be on the top of the world after testing came to a conclusion in Barcelona.
But their world has come crashing down ever since as Ferrari have outshone them in Melbourne, Bahrain and in China to some extent.
Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen confirmed a front row start for Ferrari , with Bottas and Hamilton slotting in behind them.
Toto Wolff though feels that there is not much wrong with the car and that the issue lies with the team not getting its tyres into the right operating window.
“I think it’s tricky,” Wolff said as reported by Sky Sports.
“We’re lacking grip, and you can fall out of the window by the tyres getting too hot, or by the tyres being too cold.
“The two extremes like we had in Bahrain. I think this is what happened. I think it’s a tyre issue.” he added.
However, Wolff feels that they’ll need a complete investigation into how Ferrari has managed to outpace them in qualifying.
“They’ve been really strong all day, already in the morning,” he said.
“Qualifying performance, they put one on top. It’s really… we have something to think about.
“Tomorrow it’s expected to be much warmer, so I hope that we’ve done the right thing set-up-wise and we’ll have better pace in the race than Ferrari.” he added.
In the past too Ferrari have had issues getting their tyres to work in optimal condition. Bottas believes the issue has maybe resurfaced.
“Yes. We saw in the race before that we’ve been better in general with the harder compounds and that is something we’re still working on to get more out of.
“Ferrari is doing something better on that.
“There was nothing in the lap we could have gained that much,” he said. “Maybe a little bit in terms of getting the tyres absolutely perfect for the lap but it’s not half a second.
“They [Ferrari] have a really strong car, you can see especially in the long corners – Turn 1, 2 – they make some good gains to us.
“Obviously now without big difference on the straights they can keep the gains they make in the corners. We definitely have work to do.
“Tomorrow is a different day. A long race ahead, like we saw last weekend it will be close, hopefully we can make up tomorrow what we lost today.” Bottas concluded.