Ahead of the opening race of the 2017 Formula One season in Australia on March 26, we take a look at how each team is shaping up for the new campaign.
Mercedes have shown little sign of their dominance being hit by the rule changes in 2017. Can Valtteri Bottas provide Lewis Hamilton with a challenge?
HOW DID THEY PERFORM IN 2016?
The Silver Arrows scored an F1 record 19 wins in the season, which helped them overtake Red Bull on the all-time list as they reached 64 by the end of the campaign. Mercedes also set a new benchmark in pole positions with 20.
Nico Rosberg pipped Hamilton to the title, and then rode off into the sunset to enjoy a shock retirement.
THE 2017 LINE-UP
The three-time world champion believes reliability cost him a fourth crown last season and he will be out to prove he is the top dog once again. If Ferrari's pace is genuine, an out-and-out race between this era's two most dominant drivers is a mouth-watering prospect.
Bottas has led Williams' Mercedes-powered revival in recent years, largely through consistency rather than outright pace and race-craft, which draws understandable comparisons to Rosberg. The Finn has been unflappable in his career so far, but how he handles the pressure of absolutely having to win will have an intriguing impact.
THE TO-DO LIST
- Improve reliability. As mad as it sounds for a team that won all but two races, Mercedes regularly let their drivers down last season, Hamilton especially. The Briton suffered issues in China, Russia and Baku before a complete blowout in Malaysia snatched a certain victory away from him and put Rosberg in control of the title's destiny.
- Let them race. Bottas has plenty to prove in 2017, needing to impress if he is to keep his seat for the following year when several heavy hitters will come onto the market. The Finn has outscored his team-mate in all four of his F1 seasons so far. While a repeat might not be likely, he should get the opportunity to do his best.
HOW WILL THEY FARE?
They will almost certainly dominate again. Ferrari's pre-season pace at least offers hope of a proper competition throughout the season, although similar sentiments were being issued this time 12 months ago and fell flat.
25. September 2017
|Knicks make Anthony trade to Thunder official|
|Football Association backs Glenn over Sampson sacking|
|Juventus to appeal against fine, Agnelli ban issued by FIGC|
|Aguero and Jesus partnership delights Guardiola|
|Athletics´ Maxwell will continue kneeling despite threats & racial slurs|
|Deulofeu, Semedo return for Barcelona but Alcacer dropped for Sporting CP clash|
|Tom Brady disagrees with Donald Trump´s anthem comments|
|Guardiola uneasy over lofty Manchester City comparisons|
|Josh Norman: Donald Trump is not my president|
|FIFA ´applying common sense´ with expected poppy ban U-turn|
|Walker: It was a nightmare facing Aguero|
|Victorious Darcis sets up Zverev clash in Shenzhen|
|Promes a doubt for Spartak´s Liverpool clash|
|Dortmund meet Madrid again as Besiktas look to end drought - Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Castleford Tigers get six in Super League Dream Team|
|Villarreal promote coach Calleja to first-team duties|
|Ashes hopeful Westley faces anxious wait over hand injury|
|Donald Trump ´so proud of NASCAR´ for stance on protests during anthem|
|Zvonareva ousts fourth seed Begu in Tashkent opener|
|Napoli striker Milik set for long lay-off after knee surgery|
|Mourinho avoids FA punishment after being sent off at Southampton|
|Draxler predicts a ´spectacle´ when PSG face Bayern|
|Tevez challenged to prove his worth by Shanghai Shenhua|
|Mercedes avoiding complacency after Singapore ´surprise´|
|Bielsa has backing of Lille owner despite poor run|
|Shakhtar will attack Man City, predicts Fernandinho|
|Burki hopes Dortmund crowd can be key against Madrid|
|Zverev: Everyone would want Federer as a coach|
|Kroos returns for Madrid´s trip to Dortmund|
|Chelsea boss Conte: For sure, I will return to Italy|
|Neymar and Mbappe need time to settle at PSG, says Ancelotti|
|Aston Martin named Red Bull´s title sponsor from 2018|
|Walker´s World Cup hopes ended by ankle surgery|
|Villarreal sack Escriba after Getafe humbling|
|Mathieu hits out at Barcelona treatment|
|Lukaku and Raiola repeat calls for offensive chant to stop|
|Billy Vunipola would take pay cut to avoid burn out|
|Agar out of India tour with broken finger|
|De Bruyne keen on new Manchester City deal|
|Marcelino laughs off injury after hurting hamstring celebrating|
|Diamondbacks clinch home-field advantage in wildcard game with walk-off win|
|Brady, Rodgers inspire comebacks for Pats and Packers|
|Milan shouldn´t be losing to weaker teams – Fassone slams Montella´s men|
|MLS Review: Sporting KC, Portland keep pressure on|
|Bautista receives emotional farewell from Blue Jays fans|
|It´s been a wild ride - Schauffele revels in Tour Championship victory|
|Mixed feelings for FedEx Cup champ Thomas, despite collecting $10m bonus|
|Wenger unwilling to sacrifice any potential trophy|
|Kershaw breaks Dodgers record for most seasons with 200 strikeouts|
|NFL players react to Trump´s ´assault´ on freedom of speech|
|Kane worth more than £100m – Noble|
|Klopp: I could write a book on defending|
|Maddon all for self-expression as Cubs manager clarifies Trump comments|
|Stanley Cup champions Penguins will visit White House|
|Kyle Busch advances to NASCAR playoffs with New Hampshire win|
|Ederson wishes Mane well after recovering from horror tackle|
|Schauffele wins Tour Championship, Thomas claims FedEx Cup title|
24. September 2017
|Axar returns for final two Australia ODIs|
|Guardiola balks at Chelsea or United fearing in-form Manchester City|
|Morata shining as Chelsea´s leading man after Juve, Madrid frustration|
|Black Caps omit Neesham and Broom for India ODI series|
|CAF Champions League Review: Etoile Sahel see off Al Ahli Tripoli to reach semi-finals|
|Moeen ´just had a slog´ in breathtaking century|
|Seahawks & Titans sit out national anthem|
|President Trump responds to anthem protests: Locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable|
|WATCH: Showboating costly as Bears´ Cooper is denied TD|
|Late Isa snatches Toulon win, Lyon up to third|
|Federer secures Laver Cup victory for Europe|
|Dzumhur sees off Fognini for history-making ATP triumph|
|Brighton winner was a foul, claims frustrated Benitez|