Hisense is geared up for Formula 1

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Coming in third behind the Mercedes one-two last season, Daniel Riccardo is the strongest contender we've had since Mark Webber.

The German racer dramatically announced his retirement from the sport just days after he beat Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to the title in a thrilling finale.

Great expectations followed he and team mate Kimi Raikkonen to Melbourne past year after a similarly promising testing in the leadup but neither driver won a race all season.

"I'm assuming they're bringing something new", he said, "which I'm excited to see".

Hamilton said he couldn't judge the pace of the Red Bulls in testing, saying they were "quite far behind" and he didn't see many upgrades to the cars.

"I have every belief in my team that we can do that". Formula 1 is back this weekend for its 68th season, and this one promises to be one of the fastest ever.

Wolff however, will not rest of his laurels with margins at the front of the field shrinking and the uncertainty of fuel loads, weights and power settings of rival cars.

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I was there a year ago as a reserve, but being at Albert Park as an official McLaren-Honda race driver is an exciting challenge.

Currently, the consensus is that Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull will have the fastest cars on the grid (probably in that order), with tier 2 teams such as Williams, Force India, Renault, Haas and Toro Rosso trying to close the gap. You only need to look back to 2009 to see how unpredictable Formula One can be, with Brawn winning the Championship after being on the brink of extinction.

Hamilton, 32, is aiming to become the first British driver to win four championships.

"I think Ferrari are bluffing and that they are a lot quicker than they are showing", Hamilton said at testing in Barcelona.

Sean Bratches, the managing director of commercial operations for the Formula One Group - formerly Liberty Media - which took over the running of the sport in January, is already fielding offers from promotors wanting to buy in. Rumours have been denied by both teams that McLaren could be switching to Mercedes engines, leaving behind Honda.

Bottas came in to fill the void left by the departed Nico Rosberg, who stepped down at the top of his game last season after being crowned world champion. "It's a partnership that very much speaks to what we're all about as a brand".