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Monday, 24 February 2014 01:30

Mercedes all set for 2014 World Championship

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Mercedes Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have set the two fastest times in the second pre-season test session in Bahrain.

The Mercedes team on the whole seems to be managing all the changes in Formula One and fans will be betting that the 2014 Championship will be a more competitive and exciting season as the Red Bull team struggle with pre-season testing. The Mercedes drivers have been quick to stress that it is way too early to predict with any confidence how the season will play out, but one would suspect that they can only take the results of the pre-season testing and be quietly confident that Christian Horner’s Red Bull team need to burn the midnight oil to make sure they are in good shape to defend the title.

The main issues this time round has been the new rules especially pertaining to engines and fuel limits. All Formula One teams now have to cope with a new 1.6 litre - hybrid turbo engine, and be able to finish any given race without using more than 100kg (130 litres) of fuel. Although the new engines do possess more power than their 2.4 litre predecessors, the aerodynamic restrictions on the car translates into less grip.

What it has meant that teams who have managed to be proactive, and have made the appropriate management decisions two or more years ago have now been able to reap the rewards and be better equipped to handle the new rules that are now enforced. Surprisingly, it does seem very obvious that Red Bull and Renault have not managed the transition as well as others. Red Bull and Renault have both suffered with reliability issues, which has meant they have not been able to put in the practice laps in order to discover the other problems that must be resolved for the car to be competitive for Melbourne.

Although it is still early in the game, and all the teams being reserved in their comments. Online bookmakers have already started to take money on the 2014 Championship, and there is a definite sway towards Mercedes. Paddypower have Lewis Hamilton as the favourite for the Drivers Championship 2014 (all be it by the smallest of margins) priced at 5/2, whilst Red Bull’s Vettel is second favourite at 11/4. In the Constructors Championship, Mercedes are c