Mercedes expect three-horse race for 2018 F1 championship

By @saihoops on
Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain has a tyre change during the Australian Formula One Grand Prix, March 26, 2017. Reuters/Brandon Malone

Mercedes F1, the reigning four-time Formula One Constructors' Champions, are expecting a three-way battle against Ferrari and Red Bull this upcoming season. As is tradition, the Australian Grand Prix will kick-start the new F1 season. The first race of the 2018 Formula One season will get underway at Melbourne's Albert Park on March 25.

While Mercedes and Red Bull have dominated the sport over the last decade, Scuderia Ferrari is searching its first taste of success since the 2008 Formula One season. With all three teams showing flashness of greatness in the concluding 2018 F1 testing at Barcelona, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is expecting the 2018 Formula One season to be closely-contested.

"We're excited to go racing again. Everything we've done over the past months were just the first steps on the road to start our 2018 campaign - from the first build of the car to the first fire-up, from the launch in Silverstone to testing in Barcelona. Now, it's time to find out what we've got: like the old saying goes, when the flag drops, the bulls--t stops," Wolff said.

Can Ferrari bounce back to win 2018 F1 championship?

A year ago, Ferrari star Sebastian Vettel looked prime to capture his first F1 world championship with the prancing red horse until a midseason collapse propelled Mercedes back to the top.

"Last year, the competition was very close and there was no moment where we could afford to relax. Ferrari put up a very tough fight and we had a proper battle between silver and red. This year promises to bring an exciting three-way fight between us, Ferrari and Red Bull. Everyone in Brackley and Brixworth has worked extremely hard over the past months to make sure we enter that fight with the best machine possible."

Wolff said the team is committed to F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas for the foreseeable future. "Both our drivers seem reasonably happy with our new car, but it remains yet to be seen how well it performs when driven in anger. The reduction in the number of power unit components means that reliability will again play an important role in 2018."

The Australian Grand Prix gets underway Thursday (Friday AEDT) with the first practice session. There will be two additional practice sessions on Friday before Qualifying on Saturday and the main race on Sunday. Stay tuned for the latest news and updates from the 2018 Formula One season.