F1 2018: Mercedes 'love' the fight against Red Bull and Ferrari
World champs warn to expect the unexpected in Azerbaijan GP
Last Updated: 25/04/18 6:19am
Mercedes are "loving" the 2018 challenge against Ferrari and Red Bull, according to Silver Arrows boss Toto Wolff.
After four years of dominating F1, Mercedes have started the new season on the backfoot and will travel to Baku for this weekend's Azerbaijan GP after suffering three unexpected defeats to Ferrari and Red Bull in Australia, Bahrain and China.
But Mercedes say they are relishing the challenge and the variety produced by F1 2018's unexpected results.
"The 2018 Formula One season is set to be a celebration of everything we love about motor racing," said Wolff. "Three teams are fighting fiercely for race wins. We've witnessed exciting races with nail-biting overtakes.
"The fastest F1 cars in history, driven by some of the best drivers this sport has seen. So far, this year has all the ingredients for one of those legendary F1 seasons - a season that fans will look back on with smiles on their faces in years to come."
While Mercedes are yet to win this term, few in the paddock doubt their capacity to bounce back or the potential of a W09 car which was formidably fast in Australia before losing performance relative to Ferrari and Red Bull in both Bahrain and China.
"And it's not just the fans at home or at the race track who are excited - we feel the same," continued Wolff. "And we know that we have a massive challenge on our hands. Last year, we were in a tough fight with Ferrari. However, it was nothing compared to the intensity of this year's battle.
"Both Red Bull and Ferrari will do everything they can to beat us. Their cars, their teams, their drivers - all of them operate at a high level and will continue to put us under pressure. Not everyone likes this kind of challenge - but we love it. Each member of our team joined this sport for these moments. We're all together in an amazing battle in which every detail counts and with an outcome no-one can predict.
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"We're going into the race weekend in Baku feeling excited about that unpredictability. It will be the first time the Azerbaijan Grand Prix takes place in April, with completely different conditions to the previous years when we went to the Caspian Sea in June.
"This is a demanding circuit where the drivers need confidence in the car to find the right rhythm - and you want to hit the ground running on Friday morning. Last year's race threw up a podium that nobody could have predicted and, as is the way with street courses, we can once again expect the unexpected."
Who will come out on top in round four of Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull's battle for supremacy in F1 2018? Watch the Azerbaijan GP live on Sky Sports F1 from April 27-29. Get Sky Sports F1.