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Sport Wolff: the battle for 2018 has already begun

23:21  08 november  2017
23:21  08 november  2017 Source:   readsport.co

Toto Wolff says Lewis Hamilton is on course to be F1’s greatest ever driver

  Toto Wolff says Lewis Hamilton is on course to be F1’s greatest ever driver Hamilton is on course for his fourth world title and surpassed Michael Schumacher’s pole position record in September.Hamilton, who holds a 66-point lead over rival Sebastian Vettel with just three rounds remaining, will earn another shot at world championship glory in Mexico City on Sunday.

Not content with his endless claims that his team's dominance is under threat, having already wrapped up both of this year's titles, and won 80% of the races held under the current formula, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is already With the championship now settled, the battle for 2018 has already begun ."

Toto Wolff declared " the battle for 2018 has already begun " and said there is no danger of Mercedes backing off with both Formula One titles already in the bag.

F1 Grand Prix of Mexico © Clive Mason/Getty Images Sport F1 Grand Prix of Mexico

Mercedes will get a head start on 2018 by testing new parts and devices at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Having already sealed the 2017 constructors’ and drivers’ championships, team boss Toto Wolff said Mercedes will use the final two weekends of the season “as the first two Grands Prix of 2018”.

“The final two Grands Prix present the first two test opportunities ahead of the new season, trialing new and interesting concepts that the competitive landscape on track simply didn’t allow for earlier in the year,” he said.

“[We] will be running a series of experiments over the final two Fridays – with the option for a race day too, if the team feels that the risk connected with any idea is manageable and there is valuable learning for 2018 and beyond.”

Mercedes is expected to test aerodynamic instrumentation devices during Friday practice and new pit stop equipment.

It’s a position most other teams don’t find themselves in. While Ferrari is comfortably ahead of Red Bull in the constructors’ championship, Sebastian Vettel is still in a fight with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in the drivers’ competition.

Further back, the midfield battle is still unresolved. Toro Rosso, Renault, and Haas all within six points of one another.

Zarco only rider KTM is 'seriously considering' for 2019 .
KTM CEO Stefan Pierer has told German media that Johann Zarco is the ‘only MotoGP rider I am seriously considering’ to form part of the Austrian marque’s line–up for the 2019 season. 2017 marked KTM‘s first season as a factory entrant in the premier class, with the team finishing fifth in the constructors’ standings ahead of Aprilia by five points on 69, while both Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith ended the year 17th and 21st respectively, having amassed 84 points between them. With KTM making huge progress in its debut season, and expected to do so again in 2018, speculation over its 2019 future has already begun, as most riders are out of contract at the end of next year. Already rumours of KTM poaching newly-crownedfour-time world champion Marc Marquez from Honda have begun to circulate. Pierer is well aware of the speculation surrounding his team and has labelled them ‘interesting’, but insists only Zarco – who finished 2017 as top rookie in sixth in the standings and with three podiums for the Tech3 team – is on his radar. “When I look at the championship table, there’s no-one I can think of except Zarco (to join KTM), to be honest,” Pierer told Speedweek.com. “He won the Moto2 World Championship for two years with AkiAjo, and won the Red Bull Rookies Cup on a KTM. He knows KTM. “If you ask me, I would say this is the only MotoGP rider that I’m seriously considering for 2019.

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