Mercedes expect Ferrari to remain a major world championship threat in 2018, with Toto Wolff also tipping Red Bull to join F1’s battle for title honours.
This long-awaited fight between Mercedes and Ferrari has proved F1 2017’s dominant rivalry although the Scuderia’s title challenge faded in a series of disastrous races during September and October.
Brundle on Vettel’s win and F1’s strange battles in Brazil
But Ferrari served a reminder of the pace their car possesses in Brazil by beating Mercedes to victory, their first since the summer break, and Wolff is not expecting the situation to change much in 2018.
“We enjoyed the fight with Ferrari a lot,” said the Mercedes team boss.
“There is a lot of respect and they are a fantastic team. So I expect it to be continued next year and probably with Red Bull and others in the frame.”
Natalie Pinkham is joined by Williams F1 Team co-founder Sir Patrick Head and Sky F1's Marc Priestley to review the Brazilian GP
After making huge strides with the development of their car during 2017 to the point where they won Malaysia and Mexico on pace, Red Bull are confident of returning to title contention next year, while McLaren are targeting fighting podiums when they swap Honda for Renault engines in 2018.
Winning races not enough for Ferrari
While their wait to end their world title drought will continue for at least another season, 2017 has represented Ferrari’s most successful campaign in years.
Their five victories are the most they have achieved in a single season since 2010, while 19 podiums matches the total from their last Constructors’ Championship-winning year of 2008.
However, Sebastian Vettel says only when Ferrari are dominating the sport again will the Scuderia’s revival be complete.
“I think we can all feel that we’re getting stronger so hopefully we can carry that strength into the next couple of years,” he said after winning at Interlagos.
“Not just next year, not just the winter but also the future because I think our objective is to bring Ferrari back properly, get there and dominate. That’s what we want to do.”
Who will come out on top in the F1 2017 season finale and take the bragging rights into the winter? Don’t miss the Abu Dhabi GP live on Sky Sports F1 on November 26 – lights out for the race is at 1pm. Want to watch but not got Sky F1? Buy a NOW TV pass from £6.99!
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