Formula 1

Formula One is back and there's serious competition for Mercedes

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All sports fans love a good title scrap. The competition of will they? Won't they? The most elite of sporting stars going head to head in a battle of the best.

Formula One this season looks to deliver just that. With Ferrari snipping off pace from the Mercedes, there may be some genuine competition throughout the season for current world title holder, Lewis Hamilton.

There's no doubt three-time world champion Hamilton has been the dominant driving force in F1 for the past two seasons. But, after the long winter break this year, Ferrari's testing at the Circut de Catalunya is telling F1 fans a different and exciting story.


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Without the stress of the Ferrari red in Hamilton's wing mirrors, he has fellow silver arrow Nico Rosberg to watch out for. After three successive wins at the end of the season, it is the German who has the upper-hand going into the new season if his form is to continue.

Through his own admission, Hamilton said he switched off after he had won the title in Austin. This season, though, it will be all systems go for the Brit, who has fierce competition and rivalry to deface from all over the grid. There is no time to switch off, Lewis.

McLaren Renaissance

Questions are being asked on whether or not Mercedes can reign again this season. As well as questions on Jenson Button's team in McLaren. Will it be another year of pain or is it a year of gain?

While their laps in Barcelona proved that both the McLaren drivers have improved reliability in their cars, Eric Boulier admits they are heading down under with a "number of unknowns". The first trial of the cars full spec will indeed take place in Australia on Friday during practice - two days before the race.

The team hosts two world class drivers. Both world champions, remember. After their worst season in F1 for 30 years, the McLaren garage needs a huge lift, and positive results are the way to achieve that. And they need to do it now. If not, the team will be under extreme pressure to keep their drivers penned to the British racing team and Fernando Alonso could well regret his move from Ferrari if they go on to win the title this year.

Haas ready to make an impact

There is a lot to look forward to this season, especially with the newest arrival in the paddock, Haas. Their debut in Australia could potentially be a fresh new model of approach for future aspiring F1 teams to follow.

The team looks well prepared ahead of their debut at Albert Park. Since Toyota last joined the F1 paddock in 2002 with their £200 million investment, new teams have struggled to keep out of the almost inevitable black hole that swallows new squads. But, with Haas' deal with Ferrari, they are well equipped to get in amongst the points in their first ever race.

Ferrari must make a statement

Ferrari have the chance to lay the gauntlet down in Australia. If they go on to win the race it will send a stern warning to their rivals over in the Merc garage.

Perhaps there will be a shift in momentum within the Mercedes paddock, too. If Rosberg starts his season the same way he ended his last, it's bound to be an entertaining race at the front of the grid.

There appears to be a lot of worthy competition set to battle it out on the track this season from all the way through the field. McLaren could be a welcome surprise if they progress from their improved reliability. Haas could potentially put pressure on established teams if they get off to a good start and Ferrari continue the way they did during testing, Mercedes definitely have something to fear.

The season gets underway in Australia on Sunday and it is the 20th anniversary of Albert Park hosting the event since moving from Adelaide. The 5am lights out for UK F1 fans is not one to be missed.

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