'I'm equipped with the tools I need to succeed' - Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes will show its true potential this year as he heads to the first race of the season confident of success.
Mercedes emerged from pre-season testing in decent shape after completing more laps than any other team and showing impressive pace on low-fuel runs. Hamilton, who joined the team last year from McLaren, believes Mercedes is now ready to show what it is capable of.
"I think we're as ready as we can be for Melbourne and I'm more fired up than ever," he said. "With all the changes within the sport and the hard work that's been going on within the team, I believe this can be our year to really show what we're capable of. That's not to take anything away from our opposition, who will be incredibly tough to beat as always, but I feel like I'm equipped with the tools I need to succeed. I can't wait to get started."
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said the team is looking forward to hitting the race track next weekend in Australia
"We now face the ultimate reality check in the first race of this new era for Formula One," Wolff said. "The feeling within the team is not one of nerves, however. It is more a sense of relief to finally be unleashing our cars in race conditions. Everybody now just wants to get out there and see where we stand. Expectations are high, both internally and externally. Although we're not quite where we want to be right now in terms of a complete package, I'm optimistic in that we've done everything possible to prepare for the challenges ahead. I think people are going to be pleasantly surprised by the new cars: the noise, the speeds and ultimately the lap times. This is cutting-edge technology - and that's exactly what Formula One stands for."