After a year of domination in 2014, Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS return to the track this weekend for the season opener of the 2015 Formula 1 season in Australia will the desire for more of the same.
Both reigning World Drivers’ Champion Lewis Hamilton and last year’s runner-up Nico Rosberg are eager to see the Silver Arrow’s dominate from the front, although both believe that the chasing pack will fight them harder this time around.
“We had a great season last year as a team and, of course, we’d all love to repeat that,” insisted Hamilton. “But the others won’t stop chasing us. I’m sure the competition will be close and we should get exciting racing with plenty of battling for position – which is great because that’s what I love doing and that’s what the fans love watching.
“There are many good drivers out there and all of them want to win. You just have to want it more than they do.”
Team-mate Rosberg agrees, and heads into his sixth season with the Mercedes team feeling stronger than in previous years after proving he could fight for the championship last season.
“2014 was a really incredible season for the team and I know everyone is pushing harder than ever to do it all again,” said Rosberg. “Seeing everyone at the factory is a big motivation for me.
“This will be my sixth year with the team and we’re getting stronger with every season. It’s great to have a group of people working alongside you who are as passionate and driven as you are.”
Looking ahead to the new season, Hamilton admits he is impatient to get back to racing, but is unsure just what 2015 will bring as he looks to retain his championship.
“At this point in the year you don’t really know what to feel as a driver,” revealed Hamilton. “You’re impatient to get back to racing but, at the same time, you never know what a new season will bring.
“Testing gives you a basic idea of whether the car feels good or not but, beyond that, it’s anyone’s game to win. The team have been working incredibly hard through the winter and it was great to see everyone in the factory before I left for Melbourne. I’m so thankful for everything they do and I want to show that in the best way I can out on track.
“I feel fresh, I feel fit, I feel relaxed, I feel positive… I feel ready. I think as a driver you get stronger with every season, so I plan to be better than last year.”
Rosberg has been focusing on pushing himself harder to be able to fight his team-mate on the track and to make sure he is in the position the beat Hamilton to the championship in 2015, although he knows other drivers will try to push them both on track.
“I have focussed on pushing myself even harder for the rematch with Lewis,” revealed Rosberg. “In the end, it comes down to who can put the best season together overall and I have to make sure it’s the other way around this time.
“Having said that, my team-mate is just one of many strong competitors who I have to beat if I want to be World Champion, so I’m just focused on being the absolute best I can be.
“I now know the feeling of winning races and I intend to do a lot more of that – but I also know the feeling of not winning in the end and I don’t intend to repeat that experience. It’s a huge motivation for me and gives me even more determination for 2015.”