Lauda: Red Bull will be up there


Of Mercedes' three biggest rivals, Niki Lauda is predicting that Red Bull Racing will be the one to really close the gap in 2015.

Last season Mercedes romped away with the Championship titles, claiming both the Constructors' and the Drivers' thanks to 11 grand prix wins for Lewis Hamilton and five for Nico Rosberg. The remaining three race victories all went to Red Bull.

This year Lauda is foreseeing more of the same – another season dominated by Mercedes and another season where Red Bull are the biggest challengers.

"[Red Bull] will be right there, but the question is how far they get," the triple World Champion told Autosport.

"There is too little information about Ferrari at the moment, and McLaren-Honda will experience a difficult year."

The Austrian, a non-executive director with the Mercedes team, has also downplayed hopes from rival outfits the post-2014 upgrades will allow them to turn the tables on the reigning Champions.

He added: "Mercedes AMG is of course in an excellent position, but we want to improve everything, and so do the others.

"I would suggest you can only judge the quality of the field after the first three races.

"Everyone in Brackley and Brixworth is extremely busy right now, as usual, but everything is on schedule.

"What I do not understand is the fact we will have three tests in Spain again and none in the Gulf area which would be a much better preparation for Melbourne weather – and temperature-wise."