Mercedes wary of Ferrari and Honda threat during 2016 season
Mercedes' engine dominance might not last for much longer according to Andy Cowell, managing director of the German marque's engine department, as he expects Ferrari and Honda to close the gap significantly.
Mercedes arguably has the best power unit on the grid, with the team winning all but three races during their 2015 campaign. However Ferrari made huge improvements to its own power unit during the previous winter and were the only real challenger to Mercedes' dominance.
A significant gap still stands between Ferrari and Mercedes, but Cowell isn't taking that for granted and expects the Italian outfit to catch up - or even surpass - Mercedes.
"If we look at what Ferrari has done over the last 12 months, it's remarkable," Cowell is quoted by F1i. "Their improvements have been a huge credit to their reshuffle, their enthusiasm.
"Nobody here is assuming we are going to win. Everybody here is assuming we're going to get beaten by Ferrari, and Honda are a big threat."
Whilst Honda struggled on its return to the sport with partner McLaren, scoring just 27 points over the course of 19 races, there is positive news coming from Honda's facility in Japan, with many expecting a big leap in performance as it learns from its mistakes.
"They have come in quickly and they are learning in front of the public, but they're hugely determined," added Cowell.
"They are partnered with McLaren, who are hugely determined. We know exactly how McLaren work in terms of a data-driven approach, so they are going to make some big, big gains."