FEBRUARY 8, 2016
Mercedes expecting rivals to challenge in 2016
Mercedes is not sure it will dominate formula one for a third consecutive season in 2016.
That is the claim of Andy Cowell, the engine boss at the German team who told reporters that Mercedes has improved its already field-leading 'power unit' over the winter.
"We have constantly developed in the past two years and made many steps forward," he is quoted by the German broadcaster RTL. "I do not see this changing."
Cowell reportedly revealed that the 2016 Mercedes will have over 900 horse power, but he is also expecting the competition to have improved as well.
Ferrari is singled out as the main competitor.
"Everybody here is going 'I wonder how we're going to do?' Nobody here is assuming we are going to win, everybody here is assuming that we're going to get beaten by Ferrari, and Honda are a big threat," Cowell said.
"Renault's determination as well, as they've shown by being a lot more involved now in formula one. There are going to be some great stories to talk about," he added.
Red Bull's Adrian Newey, however, has warned that even the scrapping of the 'token' system for 2017 could make things worse, as the biggest spenders potentially widen the gap between the engine makers.
But the engine makers each have 32 tokens for 2016 and reportedly much more freedom the year after, prompting Cowell to say: "We don't want anyone to say that they can't catch up because the regulations don't allow it."