Wolff admits Mercedes has 'a proper fight on its hands'


Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the reigning world championship team expects to be pushed to its limits this season as it targets a sixth consecutive Constructors' title.

The Silver Arrows squad was given a run for its money by arch-rival Ferrari last year, but it ultimately broke free of its opponent's pressure in the second half of 2018, with Lewis Hamilton beating Sebastian Vettel to a fifth crown.

However, the Scuderia showcased in pre-season testing the speed and performance of its SF90 contender, demonstrating that it will once again line up on the grid in Melbourne as a formidable force to be reckoned with.

"It's finally time to go racing again," said Wolff ahead of this weekend's Australian Grand Prix.

"Everyone in Brackley and Brixworth has poured so much effort and commitment into this new car, so we're excited to finally see it compete on track in Melbourne.

"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."


While Mercedes' W10 appeared to lag its Ferrari counter-part in Barcelona, Wolff insisted that consistency over the full season and the faculty to develop and adapt will ultimately decide who comes out on top in Abu Dhabi.

"Judging from the performance in Barcelona, it looks like we will have a proper fight on our hands in Melbourne," added Wolff.

"But an F1 season is not just about who comes out of the blocks quickest; under new regulations like we have this year, it is about who is able to adapt best to the new rules and the new tyres and all the challenges that we will have to master during the year.

"The most adaptable and agile team will come out on top this season.

"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."

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