Toto Wolff
Mercedes are currently leading both the Constructors' and Drivers' Championships. In this picture, Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff looks on during qualifying for the Azerbaijan Formula One Grand Prix at Baku City Circuit in Baku, Azerbaijan, April 28, 2018. Mark Thompson/Getty Images

The 2018 Formula 1 season is entering its busiest period with the next ten weekends seeing seven races all across Europe and one in Canada. It is likely that by the end of the seven races there will be a clearer picture of which teams and drivers are favorites for the title this season.

It starts with the race in Monaco on Sunday — a track that is unlike any other on the calendar. The tight and twisty streets of Monte Carlo can catch out the best of drivers and deliver some surprising results. The teams will then go to Canada, before returning to Europe for five more races before the summer break.

Mercedes are currently leading both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ championships after taking victory in the last two races. Lewis Hamilton leads Sebastian Vettel by 17 points, while the Silver Arrows team are ahead of Ferrari by 27 points.

The first four races gave a very different picture with Ferrari being the fastest car while the reigning champions struggled, but the tables have turned since the Spanish Grand Prix, which saw Mercedes return to form with a 1-2 while the Italian team struggled for performance.

Toto Wolff, Mercedes team principal, is not taking anything granted going into the “heart of the season” and is certain the team will be tested to the limit in the coming weeks. It is the first time in four years the Mercedes dominance has been tested by two teams — Ferrari and Red Bull Racing — in every race thus far.

“We are now starting the heart of the season, with seven races ahead in the next ten weekends,” Wolff was quoted as saying on Mercedes F1’s official site. “We will race on a broad range of circuits before the summer break, with races coming thick and fast. … This will test the team to its limits - and any weaknesses will be harshly punished in the points. We are clear-sighted about the challenge ahead of us and determined to prevail.”

Despite dominating the previous race in Spain, Mercedes are worried ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix where they have struggled in the last two seasons. In 2017, they were outpaced by Ferrari, while this season the Red Bull look very strong as well.

Wolff is certain the Austrian owned team and Ferrari are the favorites going into the race at the Principality. But is hoping his team can better understand the problems they suffered last year and deliver an improved performance this time around.

"We don't head into the weekend as favourites — they are Red Bull and Ferrari," Wolff said about the upcoming race in Monaco. "Red Bull are strong in the slow-speed corners and where straight-line speed is less important, while Ferrari dominated last year.”

“Our job is to deliver a smooth practice programme, apply our learning from recent races and maximise the potential of the car, whatever that proves to be.”