Toto Wolff said Mercedes were "back in the championship fight" after a thrilling Spanish Grand Prix which ended with George Russell claiming third and Lewis Hamilton fifth. The latter produced an incredible recovery drive after a first-lap puncture had left him 19th.
Mercedes have spent most of this season fighting to solve their car's 'porpoising' issues - bouncing up and down at high speed. But a substantial upgrade package introduced ahead of Barcelona appears to have resolved that issue, and the Brackley team are now speaking in far more bullish terms.
"Can we fight for a world championship? We bet we can," Wolff said. "We have reasons to believe we can get there. If you look at the standings it is very hard to see but motor racing is a different ball game.
"We've seen today that Ferrari didn't score a lot of points when they should have. We will absolutely push flat out to bring us back into the game."
Wolff was referring to Charles Leclerc's retirement with a power unit failure midway through the race, which resulted in him surrendering his championship lead to Max Verstappen, who headed home a Red Bull one-two. Russell is now just 36 points off the lead of the title race after keeping up his record of finishing in the top five of every race this season.
And with Hamilton "the fastest driver in the race", according to Wolff, the Austrian said Mercedes could look ahead with optimism again.
"In Lewis we have probably the fastest race car today," he said. "He was 38sec behind the last cars after he stopped and it was basically game over. And he finished 50sec behind at the finish.
"It was so important for his morale and our morale. That looked like a championship winning race car he was driving. It reminded me of last year and the years before, the race car and the driver."
After his first lap puncture dropped him to the back of the field, Hamilton had told his team that they should "save his engine" for another day. Wolff said he had not meant it.
"I think that was a sentence of 'I can't believe that.' It was not what he meant," Wolff said, adding that Hamilton's recovery drive showed his "quality, mindset and determination".
Wolff, meanwhile, described Russell's drive as the mark of "a great star and a great driver in the making".
"We see this weekend we have halved the gap to the front-runners but still there is a long way to go. But I'm so proud and happy to see that."
Formula 1 heads to Monaco next weekend where Wolff predicted the team could struggle in the slow corners. My expectations for Monaco are lower than at any other circuit," he said. "But it's going to be another learning point at least to bring us back into the game. We see this weekend we have halved the gap to the frontrunners but still there is a long way to go. But I'm so proud and happy [of the team]."