Lewis Hamilton is braced for his biggest challenge as he chases a sixth Formula One title and Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari sense this could be the year they finally turn the tables on Mercedes. The 21-race championship, which starts with this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, is already showing the hallmarks of a classic. Hamilton has won 51 of the past 100 grands prix for Mercedes and four of the past five championships. While he can expect to add to his tally of 73 race wins, 18 behind Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of 91, the balance of power may be shifting away from Mercedes to Ferrari. “This is going to be the toughest battle yet … their pace is very good at the moment,” the Briton said after suggesting in preseason testing that Ferrari could be as much as half a second ahead. Mercedes, seeking to become the first Formula One team to take six successive title doubles, will throw everything at Ferrari, who can afford none of the mistakes of 2018. There are ple...

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