Daniel Ricciardo Still Searching For First Podium In His Home Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas his new teammate, but surely the road is open for the Brit to take another title?

With the Australian Grand Prix set to kick off proceedings on Sunday, Hamilton landed at Melbourne's Tullamarine airport six days prior to the action getting started in order to put the finishing touches to his preparation. And if last season's points are anything to go by, a tough competitor to beat. "It means more work, for sure". A revitalised Ferrari have been their fastest yet ahead of Mercedes, with Red Bull and Williams proving their new cars are delivering, and are the first real threat since Mercedes three-year domination began.

German Rosberg thwarted Hamilton's bid for a third successive title and the pair's heated rivalry took its toll on both drivers.

And yet Mercedes, once again, appear primed to ride roughshod over new-season hopes for a changing of the guard.

He said: "We have tackled with determination the challenge of the new regulations".

German Vettel has been busy playing down expectations of a Ferrari renaissance and has become a master of it since crossing to the "Scuderia" from Red Bull in 2015.

The Austrian said that of others are faster at the first race, his team would have to dig deeper.

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"It is my target and aim to be world champion, and I will do what I can to make it happen this year, but I am not expecting it".

With bigger tyres and more downforce, the new cars are expected to be up to five seconds quicker per lap in Melbourne and drivers have had to hit the gym to be fitter and stronger to cope with the driving demands.

"We're very pleased with the pre-sales. we're up in corporate, we're up in grandstand and we're up in general admission", Westacott said.

"Candidly, I would love it if more of the drivers had big personalities, there was more controversy among the drivers - and you kind of unleash them a little bit", he said.

Carey's team will look to make the sport more appealing and more profitable and sell the unique product F1 is better to the global audience.

In the end, it was Rosberg who held on to claim his first, and apparently last Drivers title, though there were still plenty of other spectacular races and mind-boggling incidents worth remembering - such as Red Bull blowing a winnable race for Daniel Ricciardo in Monaco, or both Mercedes drivers colliding in Spain.