Wolff expects a tougher challenge from rivals

Lewis Hamilton during testing in Barcelona
Lewis Hamilton during testing in Barcelona

The 2016 Formula One World Championship kicks off this weekend with the Australian Grand Prix where Mercedes AMG Petronas will be looking to make the best possible start to their title defence.

The Brackley team have won the manufacturers title for the last two years and world champion Lewis Hamilton will be looking to keep his grip on the driver’s crown.

We expect the competition to be tougher than ever this year

Toto Wolff

Team-mate Nico Rosberg finished runner-up to Hamilton in 2015 but this year team boss Toto Wolff says the Brackley outfit face a tougher challenge.

Wolff said: “Motivation is crucial to performance and you need to set ambitious targets to keep that drive high. These change from year to year.

“When I first arrived, it was becoming a front running team. Then, it was winning the title. Then, proving to ourselves that it wasn’t a one-off. And now, it’s creating sustainable success.

“We’re realistic with ourselves, we know we won’t win every race and every championship. But we want to be up there fighting for it every year and putting on a great show, so that’s the target.

“We expect the competition to be tougher than ever this year. Ferrari look confident and there will likely be other teams involved in the battle.”