High hopes of a meaningful Formula One title race will face their first test at the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday as five-time champion Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team seek to crush the preseason optimism surrounding Ferrari. Under different management and after a positive winter testing, Ferrari have arrived in Melbourne with a fast car and plenty of buzz, raising expectation of a genuine challenge to five years of Mercedes dominance. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says the Ferrari threat is very real. “Last year, we had to give it absolutely everything to come out on top. From what we have learned so far, this year will be even tougher,” he added. “Judging from the [testing] performance in Barcelona, it looks like we will have a proper fight on our hands in Melbourne.” If Hamilton, winner of four of the last five championships, is feeling the pressure he is doing well to conceal it. A day before arriving Down Under on Monday, the 34-year-old indulged his new sky-diving hobby...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as articles from our international business news partners; ProfileData financial data; and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now