Formula One 2015 Season Pursuit of Mercedes Begins in Jerez

31/Jan/2015   //    Viewers:425    //    Likes:    //    Shares:    //    Comments:
Formula One 2015 Season Pursuit of Mercedes Begins in Jerez


Formula One 2015 Season Pursuit of Mercedes Begins in Jerez


Mercedes, who will also use the Spanish track to launch their 2015 car on Sunday, cruised to the constructors' championship last season, whilst Lewis Hamilton edged out teammate Nico Rosberg for the drivers' title.

Jerez de la Frontera, Spain: Preparations for the Formula One season start in Jerez on Sunday with the first of three four-day testing sessions and with Mercedes looking to lay down an early marker for continued dominance.

Mercedes, who will also use the Spanish track to launch their 2015 car on Sunday, cruised to the constructors' championship last season, whilst Lewis Hamilton edged out teammate Nico Rosberg for the drivers' title.

A series of technical changes at the start of 2014 gave Mercedes a huge jump on their title rivals.

However, with comparatively few tweaks to the rules this off season there should be far more competition at the front of the grid.

Despite their success, Hamilton and Rosberg endured a frosty relationship last season with Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff at one point describing their battle as "two enemies competing for the world title".

However, Hamilton is determined to remain on top for as long as possible.

"Anything less than what I did last year is not going to be good enough," said the Englishman, who won 11 races on his way to a second world championship.

"But I can be better. There are going to be 20 races this year, there were eight races that I didn't win, so you can always get better."

Red Bull were the best of the rest in 2014 despite finishing nearly 300 points adrift in the constructors' standings.

The Milton-Keynes based team came into Jerez last year on the back of four consecutive world drivers and constructors titles but suffered a torrid time in registering a mere 21 laps in four days.

Their performance improved as the campaign wore on, with Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo winning the only three races not won by Mercedes.

However, four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel endured a nightmare campaign which precipitated his move to Ferrari with 20-year-old Russian Daniil Kyvat taking his seat at Red Bull.

"After the first test last year, hopefully this one cannot be any worse than that," Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said this week.

"We managed very few laps over the four days, with the car either stopping on track or setting on fire, so hopefully we've made progress from that point.

"It's at least been the most impressive winter we've had as a team in terms of everything coming together, with the car being produced in the shortest time ever, the design staff hitting all their headlines and targets."

Vettel has been tasked with restoring the glory days at Ferrari as their quest for a drivers' title stretches into an eighth year.

The German will be partnered by the last man to do so in a Ferrari as Kimi Raikkonen hopes to improve on a disappointing first year back with the Italian giants as he failed to even make the podium once in 19 races.

Vettel's arrival at Ferrari coincided with Fernando Alonso's controversial return to McLaren where he suffered a turbulent one season spell in 2007.

The Spaniard clashed with then rookie teammate Hamilton, whilst McLaren were expelled from the constructors' championship and fined $100 million for spying on Ferrari's technical data.

Yet, Alonso claims he has never been more ready for a new campaign as McLaren launched their new Honda-powered car on Thursday.

"I've never felt better, or more ready for a new season," said the 2005 and 2006 world champion.

"Of course, we're prepared for a steep learning curve, but it's clear to see that inside McLaren-Honda there's total commitment, and a real change in feeling, as we start this new partnership."

Force India are the only team to decide against testing in Jerez, instead opting to concentrate on the second series of testing in Barcelona beginning on February 19.




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