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Mercedes will be pushed to limits in F1 world title fight, says Toto Wolff

Mercedes drivers have won the past five drivers’ championships, with Lewis Hamilton winning four and Nico Rosberg one

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says he expects his team to be “pushed to our limits” by this year’s World Championship fight.

The season starts with the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday and Mercedes go to Melbourne with evidence that Ferrari were faster in pre-season testing.

“Judging from the performance in Barcelona, it looks like we will have a proper fight on our hands,” Wolff said.

“But an F1 season is not just about who comes out of the blocks quickest.”

He added that new regulations, particularly concerning the design of the front wing after an attempt by rule makers to make overtaking less difficult, would mean the season would be about “who is able to adapt best to the new rules and the new tyres and all the challenges we will have to master during the year”.

“The most adaptable and agile team will come out on top this season,” Wolff said.

“We have shown in the past that we are fast and flexible and that we can handle every curveball thrown at us. We’re ready for the fight and look forward to the crazy rollercoaster of a new F1 season.”

Last year, Ferrari had the fastest car for much of the season but Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won his fifth world title with two races still to go after a series of errors by his rival Sebastian Vettel and his team.

Wolff said: “Last year, we had to give it absolutely everything to come out on top.

“From what we have learned so far, this year will be even tougher. It will push us to our limits – and that’s an exciting prospect for every single one of us.” –