Formula 1


Mercedes feeling pressure to deliver

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On the back of an encouraging 2013, pressure is mounting at Mercedes to lead the charge in taming Red Bull this season.

With a shake up in the regulations, Mercedes are being tipped to be the team to take the fight to the constructors' champions. After finishing second last year and the pairing of Rosberg and Hamilton raring to get the new season underway, Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff told Autosport he feels the pressure building.

"Now the expectations are very high, and we have to manage those expectations because winning a world championship is not an easy task. It is very difficult," he said.

The last time the team won a championship it was under the Brawn GP banner in 2009 after Jenson Button claimed the championship. This came after the last big regulation change shook up the pecking order. The team will be hoping for a repeat performance this time around but they know success is not guaranteed.

Many have tipped the Brackley based outfit who secured three wins last year to have the most competitive engine out of the three manufacturers but Wolff is not taking anything for granted.

"Now do I know what Ferrari and Renault are doing? No. I am sure they have intelligent people and they are doing good work there as well. It is all crystal-ball reading," he added.

After the lows of 2012, where the team finished fifth in the constructors, they knew something had to change with the long term plan being championship contenders year after year.

Last season saw a step in the right direction with the signing of 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton and acquisition of some of the best technical people in the paddock.

The shakeup gave the team wins and pole positions that rocketed the Silver Arrows to second only to Red Bull come the end of the season.

After being tipped as favorites by many up and down the pit lane and fans if Mercedes chose to dangerously believe their own hype they could find themselves at the first race disappointed and embarrassed if they are nowhere near the front of the grid.

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