Mercedes Head of Motorsport, Toto Wolff has said rivals Ferrari and Red Bull have closed the gap ahead of the first race of 2017 Formula 1 season.
Wolff has down played expectations that Mercedes will dominate for a fourth season because Ferrari and Red Bull have shown impressive pace in pre-season testing.
The winter testing showed that there could be three teams challenging for the victory in Australia but it is difficult to judge whether which team has the edge.
The new season brings a host of new regulations and Toto Wolff has stated that these new rules could bring the pack closer together and limit the impact of the Mercedes power unit.
Ferrari grabbed headlines in winter testing setting the fastest lap with Kimi Raikkonen showing he still has the pace, but pre-season pace is always difficult to judge but it is clear that Ferrari have made a step forward from the previous season.
Mercedes and Toto Wolff will be quietly confident ahead of Australia but will always be weary of the challenge from Red Bull and Ferrari.