Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff believes that the new rules for 2019 have been deliberately targetted to end his team's dominance. The new rules have targetted aerodynamics, an area which Mercedes has excelled in recent times and Wolff believes this has been done on purpose.
"The air is becoming thinner," Wolff told German website Motorsport-Total.com.
"When a team dominates, the rules are always changed to damage this team. It can be called almost embarrassing.
"With the aerodynamic rule change for 2019, they try to change the ranking in Formula 1.
"We have seen this in the past with Ferrari and of course with Red Bull. We must remain motivated and set the right goals."
"Our task becomes more difficult every year," added the Austrian.
"We set a benchmark, but this motivates our opponents. We have to acknowledge how strong the competition is and recognize that we could lose the world championship this year."
If the new rules have hindered Mercedes performance, 2019 could be a much more competitive year and maybe Mercedes success will end.