Prior to the start of a season expected to be more competitive than ever, the Mercedes F1 team is taking the threat of Renault and McLaren seriously.
Mercedes may have taken both the drivers’ and constructors’ crowns in each of the past four seasons, but with more teams expected to join the fight at the front, the team is aware that repeating the double for a fifth consecutive season may not be so easy.
“This is the pinnacle of motor racing; you need to respect every team and the top drivers,” Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff told Motorsport.com.
“We are taking Ferrari, we are taking Red Bull, we are taking McLaren, we are taking Renault seriously. These guys can fight for a championship and some others might be surprising us.”
Toto Wolff is the executive director of the Mercedes F1 team.
“I want to remain humble and expect competition from all of these teams, and if we are able to align the dots like we have done in the last year, then we will be winning races and then we will be fighting for championships, and if we don’t, then we haven’t been good enough.”
While more teams are expected to be competitive, Mercedes has one eye firmly fixed on Ferrari after the Italian team gave the biggest challenge in 2017.
“How the car performed on track was exceptional and the step they made over the winter was probably the biggest step of all the teams,” continued Wolff.
“I am happy that we kept it together. We have a record of 11 race victories versus the five of Ferrari, and the stopwatch never lies.
“Having said that, we need to stay both feet on the ground. Ferrari could have won more races. We’re taking them very seriously as a real contender like we do with the other teams.”