Despite a raft of rule and regulation changes for the upcoming 2017 Formula One Championship season, Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo believes that Mercedes will still be the team to beat.
Many were hoping that the changes would shake up the order at the top, and it still might, and break the cycle of dominance Mercedes has enjoyed over the past three years, but the Aussie star doesn't think the top teams will lose their edge that quickly.
However, the main thing that may shake things up somewhat is the driver they pick to partner Lewis Hamilton….
"It depends who they sign up, but obviously Lewis will be hard to beat whoever they do,” Daniel said in the Australian press. “Teams dominate in F1 and they sort of go through their periods, but with rule changes and that I still think that Mercedes will be quick. If the rules were the same next year then it would be a no-brainer that is the seat that everyone wants, but with a few changes it might just make it a little more questionable, but I still think they'll be very strong."
Even his Red Bull Racing boss, Christian Horner, thinks the same thing…
"It's going to be tough to overcome Mercedes," Horner told Autosport. "They go into the year as the clear favourites. They have won three consecutive world championships, they've won 50-odd grands prix in the last three years. We're just hopeful we can close that gap so we don't have predictable results every grand prix weekend. “