Even though Mercedes lost the reigning world champion at the end of 2016, they still appear to be the team to beat in the upcoming season. Not only are Lewis Hamilton and his new teammate Valtteri Bottas getting along well, but they managed to showcase one of the best preseason tests that Formula 1 has seen. They have set the pace for the rest of the pack as well as showed their new model’s endurance.
With 558 laps completed in four days, Mercedes is hoping the new F1 W08 Hybrid will avoid having any major technical issue similar to those that plagued Hamilton early on in 2016. Bottas also seems to be proving his driving ability is up to Mercedes standard by out-performing many of the other teams during the preseason testing.
Ferrari has shown that the new SF70H promises greater reliability than previous models as well. Both Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen suffered from serious technical issues that prevented Ferrari from winning a race last year. Falling behind both Mercedes and Red Bull in 2016, it would appear that Ferrari has the most to prove in the upcoming season. Aiming for Lewis Hamilton might be just out of their reach, but they could still hope to catch Bottas in a transitional state. Either way, Ferrari will have to push their SF70H if they hope to fight for the Constructor Championship.
This year promises to be competitive at the very least, and it will be great to see how other teams plan on going up against Mercedes. There is only so much fans can gather from the preseason testing, but they are right to be excited for all the 2017 Formula 1 season has to offer.