Mercedes may be chasing a seventh successive championship double but Kimi Raikkonen insists they can be beaten, and hopes Ferrari will do it this season.
Last year Mercedes romped pretty much unchallenged to the 1-2 in the Drivers’ Championship with Lewis Hamilton taking his sixth World title.
With Valtteri Bottas second in the standings, Mercedes, who started the season with a run of eight victories, also grabbed the Constructors’ Championship.
Ferrari and Red Bull took three wins apiece.
Despite Mercedes’ form, though, Raikkonen believes they can be beaten.
“I don’t think they are invincible,” he told El Pais. “They lost races, many, for years.
“It is true that in recent seasons they have been at the top of the championship more often.
“The rules have changed and they have been more consistent lately and the fastest in most cases.”
The Finn is hoping that his former team, Ferrari, can take the fight to Mercedes this season.
Last year Ferrari managed just three race wins, undone by reliability issues and mistakes from both the drivers and the pit wall.
This year Ferrari isn’t confident about its chances having failed to set the timesheet alight in pre-season testing.
Raikkonen says the Scuderia need both speed and consistency to beat Mercedes.
“They need more speed, basically,” he said, “and to be more consistent.
“Only then can they turn the situation around and fight for the championship.
“They deserve it for all the history they have. I wish them the best.”
As for his own team, Alfa Romeo, Raikkonen believes the new car is a step in the right direction.
How big a step, though, he won’t know until after the first few grands prix.
“It works better than last year and that’s good,” he said.
“Although, for now, it is impossible to predict where we will be this year.
“We will have a better idea after the first races. Seeking improvements for the car is a never ending story.”