Date: 18th February 2018 at 10:33am
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Mercedes are respectful of all rivals heading into the 2018 Formula One World Championship.

During the 2017 campaign, it was Ferrari, who not only challenged Mercedes the strongest, but Sebastian Vettel led the championship for much of the first half of the season.

Towards the end of the season, it was Red Bull Racing who came on strong.

Assuming that Ferrari can revive their form and that RBR can maintain theirs, there could well be a three-way fight at the front end of the grid in Australia next month.

However, if McLaren, who have ditched Honda for Renault and the French manufacturers themselves have got their act together over the winter they too could prove to be an outside threat.

‘This is the pinnacle of motor racing you need to respect every team and the top drivers,’ Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff told motorsport.com.

‘We are taking Ferrari, we are taking Red Bull, we are taking McLaren, we are taking Renault seriously. These guys can fight for a championship and some others might be surprising us.

‘I want to remain humble and expect competition from all of these teams and if we are able to align the dots like we have done in the last year then we will be winning races and then we will be fighting for championships and if we don’t then we haven’t been good enough.’