Mercedes chief Toto Wolff says he believes Formula One speed records are going to be smashed this season thanks to new regulations in the sport.
Wolff has described this season's cars as "violent" with new rules for the 2017 campaign meaning that cars will be lower and wider with larger tyres, which should allow for faster lap times when the new season gets underway in Melbourne this weekend.
The 45-year old has admitted that he has been impressed with what he has seen so far from the new machines during testing.
“It’s the dawn of a new era – in more ways than one. This is the first time that Formula One has changed the rules to make the cars faster," he said.
“And looking at the results from testing, we’re well on the way to achieving that. It’s something that’s never been done before and that’s a radical change. We’ve even made them look more spectacular."
Wolff's team Mercedes will be strong favourites to bring home yet another Formula One championship this season, and the German believes that their new "spectacular" cars for the 2017 campaign are miles ahead of the "previous generation".
“These machines are violent – just like Formula One cars should be. I have been out on track watching them and, next to the previous generation of cars, these are properly spectacular cars.
“From a fan perspective – and a part of me will always be a fan – it really is something special.
"Any true motorsport lover simply has to see them in the flesh.”
However, despite the new rules and the fact that Mercedes have won both the drivers' and constructors' titles for three years consecutively, Wolff has said that the overhaul of regulations means that his team will be facing an uphill battle to retain their championship this season.
Stating that: “We have tackled with determination the challenge of the new regulations. We have been very successful over the last three years through stable rules.
“But no team has ever maintained its success over such a big regulation change before. In a way, it’s just what the doctor ordered. To have such a challenge is good for the team.
“With new regulations, everyone starts with zero points. It provides opportunities as well as risks for every team on the grid.”
Last season's Mercedes teammates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton had a rocky relationship as they battled it out for Formula One supremacy, with Rosberg finally coming out on top on the last day of the season to clinch his first world championship, retiring from the sport just days later.
However, Wolff has claimed that he has seen no signs of tension between Hamilton and Rosberg's replacement at Mercedes Valterri Bottas.
“Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas are in a great place. They have a respectful and friendly relationship from what we’ve seen in our team briefings so far."
Will faster cars make this season more entertaining? What team is the biggest threat to Mercedes this season? Have YOUR say in the comments below.
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