Wolff is ready for the challenge again

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff is ready for the title defence
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff is ready for the title defence

Toto Wolff and the Mercedes AMG Petronas team cannot wait for the new Formula One season to start in Melbourne this weekend, following a busy winter.

Wolff says the Brackley-based world champions are ready to start the defence of their titles. He said: “We’re excited to go racing again.

A new season feels like climbing Mount Everest, we’ve done it in the past but we’re only in base camp now

Mercedes AMG Petronas team boss Toto Wolff

“Everything we’ve done over the past months were just the first steps on the road to start our 2018 campaign, from the first build of the car to the first fire-up, from the launch in Silverstone to testing in Barcelona. Now, it’s time to find out what we’ve got.

“Last year, the competition was very close and there was no moment when we could afford to relax. Ferrari put up a very tough fight and we had a proper battle between silver and red.

“This year promises to bring an exciting three-way fight between us, Ferrari and Red Bull.”

The team enters the new season with the same determination, drive and passion, but knows there is a long and challenging journey ahead for reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton and team-mate Valtteris Bottas.

Wolff said: “Both drivers seem reasonably happy with our new car but it remains to be seen how well it performs. The reduction in the number of power unit components means reliability will again play an important role.

“Our reliability in testing looked good but we need to be careful to draw any conclusions from that despite getting some good mileage with the new car, many of its components have not even come close to the life they need to complete during the season.

“We will tackle this season with the same dedication, team spirit and energy that has made us strong in the past. Each of us has the mind-set that last year’s championships belong in the past.

“A new season feels like climbing Mount Everest, we’ve done it in the past but we’re only in base camp now.”