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Mercedes include McLaren and Renault as potential threats in 2018

Written by  Feb 18, 2018

Mercedes has included the rejuvenated McLaren and ever-improving Renault teams on their list of potential threats for the upcoming Formula 1 season.


Last year, the two former championship-winning outfits made good strides through the midfield and by the final race in Abu Dhabi were often battling with Force India and Williams to finish 'best of the rest' behind the top three teams.

Both have tried to ease growing expectations, with Renault in-particular claiming it will be at least another year until they can fight at the front, but with both using the same engine, after McLaren switched from Honda, and considerable resources, Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff isn't taking them lightly.

"We are taking Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren and Renault seriously as these guys can fight for a championship," the Austrian told Motorsport.com.

"Some others might be surprising us too. This is the pinnacle of motor racing you need to respect every team and the top drivers."

Nevertheless, the German manufacturer is still expected to be the team to beat, particularly after ending 2017 very strongly, and Wolff accepts that should be the case if the team at Brackley continues to work well.

"I want to remain humble [but] if we are able to align the dots like we have done in the last year, then we will be winning races and then we will be fighting for championships," he said.

"If we don't, then we haven't been good enough."

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One man already backing Mercedes to make it five consecutive title successes is 2016 champion Nico Rosberg who doesn't expect to see the pecking order change.

“My prediction corresponds to what happened last year,” he told German broadcaster RTL.

"Lewis Hamilton wins, this time just one point ahead of Sebastian Vettel. After that is Lewis’ teammate Valtteri Bottas and the two Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.”

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