Ecclestone doubts Mercedes can be beaten in 2016

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Formula One commercial rights boss Bernie Ecclestone doubts any team can prevent Mercedes from becoming three-time world champions in 2016.

The German manufacturer has been ruling the F1 roost with its works outfit since the introduction of the 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged power units two years ago, amassing 32 wins and 36 pole positions out of 38 grand prix weekends.

Drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have been fighting for the Drivers’ title pretty much on their own, with the Briton eventually prevailing on both occasions. Although Ferrari and its new leader Sebastian Vettel emerged as genuine threats in 2015, Ecclestone does not think Mercedes will lose a step the upcoming season.

“I wish I could say yes, but I can’t,” the 85-year-old supremo replied to Canadian radio network TSN when asked whether he expected a different outcome in the 2016 championship.

“The bottom line is the team is a very good team, the engine is certainly better than anyone else, and they’ve got obviously one of the best drivers, so it’s going to be difficult for anyone to beat them.”

Ecclestone’s sentiment echoes recent comments from reigning champion Hamilton, who is confident that Mercedes’ dominance will continue in a season where technical regulations remain fairly stable.

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