Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says that he expects Ferrari to be strong once again next year. In 2017, Mercedes were challenged to both the world and constructor's titles for the first time since the V6 hybrid era began in 2014.
Ferrari's title hopes slipped away after the summer break, with Sebastian Vettel eliminated from Singapore and Japan due to a first lap collision and a spark plug problem. In Malaysia, both Ferraris suffered reliability issues - Vettel in qualifying and Kimi Raikkonen before the race got underway.
Mercedes managed to wrap up both titles early, and with just one race left to run in 2017, Wolff has already offered his prediction for next season. He believes that Ferrari's resurgence will continue, and there will be another close fight at the front.
"We enjoyed the fight with Ferrari a lot," said Wolff. "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."
However, Vettel has not given up on his hope of dominating Formula 1 with Ferrari: "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. "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."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing