Is the threat to Mercedes real?

Is the threat to Mercedes real?

After a first test full of ominous signs, the final four days of running at Barcelona suggested Mercedes might not be completely impenetrable. But just how much does the competition have to offer the Silver Arrows in 2017?

Mercedes looked in almost impenetrable shape after the first week of pre-season testing at Barcelona. The W08 set the pace, logged almost 100 more laps than any other car; star driver Lewis Hamilton called it the most detailed his Formula 1 team had ever built, said it looked "a thousand times better than everyone else's" - and that was just in basic specification.

The prospects for Mercedes' rivals seemed truly frightening. F1's dominant team was already tweaking some of its new aerodynamic parts, preparing an upgrade package for engine and chassis between tests, plotting a new campaign of world domination to begin at the first race in Australia.

To continue reading this feature...

You must have an AUTOSPORT+ subscription. Prices start from just $1.50 per week and give you full unrestriced access to all news and features. View package options? Magazine subscriber?

AUTOSPORT+

from just $1.50 per week

  • Get unlimited access to AUTOSPORT with news and views from the paddock
  • Enjoy AUTOSPORT+: subscriber-only analysis, comment and top-quality pictures
  • Explore every F1 stat in the world’s best motorsport database

Pay as you go

Read this feature right now for just

39c