Lauda: Expectations enormously high


Niki Lauda is predicting that yet again Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will fight for the World title but reckons a "third guy" could get involved.

Last season the Mercedes drivers dominated Formula 1, winning 16 of the 19 grands prix.

11 of those wins went to Hamilton, who clinched the Drivers' Championship title ahead of Rosberg while Mercedes wrapped up the Constructors' crown.

That success has one down side in that expectations are now sky high – and Lauda doesn't believe it will be as easy for Mercedes this season.

"Expectations are enormously high because we won everything that we could win last year," the non-executive chairman told Reuters in an interview.

"The logic is that everybody expects and wants to have the same thing (again) but I can tell you it is not that easy. A new season is a new season and everything starts from scratch.

"I think Lewis and Nico will fight again like always for the Championship but my worry is there will be a third guy also getting involved, no question."

As for which team he believes that 'third guy' could race for, the Austrian says Williams, Red Bull and Ferrari could all be a threat.

"At the moment I would say that Williams is the closest, Red Bull and Ferrari I cannot tell you now because they had some signs of speed and then nothing happens again. Red Bull you can never under-estimate.

"They are all trying to catch up…the question is how close can they get?"