Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has admitted that the intensity of last year’s title battle paled in comparison to the 2018 title fight.
Mercedes dominated the Formula 1 scene between 2014 and 2016 but are now challenged by Ferrari. Last year, Ferrari were strong but Mercedes prevailed to wrap up both titles with time to spare.
So far, Mercedes has competed for victory in all 3 races in 2018. But so far, have come up short of the top step of the podium. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel took back-to-back wins and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo triumphed in China.
Mercedes are untroubled in the Constructors’ race but this year’s fight makes last season’s battle look tame in comparison.
“We know that we have a massive challenge on our hands,” said Wolff.
“Last year, we were in a tough fight with Ferrari. However, it was nothing compared to the intensity of this year’s battle.
“Both Red Bull and Ferrari will do everything they can to beat us. Their cars, their teams, their drivers – all of them operate at a high level and will continue to put us under pressure.
“Not everyone likes this kind of challenge – but we love it. Each member of our team joined this sport for these moments.”
Ahead of this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Wolff said: “It’s the first time the event takes place in April, with completely different conditions to the previous years when we went in June.
“This is a demanding circuit where the drivers need confidence in the car to find the right rhythm – and you want to hit the ground running on Friday morning.
“Last year’s race threw up a podium that nobody could have predicted and, as is the way with street courses, we can once again expect the unexpected.”