Mercedes was first to hit the track in pre-season testing at Jerez at the start of the V6 turbo hybrid Formula 1 era in 2014; it has remained one step ahead since.
Pre-season testing suggests that a fifth consecutive drivers' and constructors' championship double, one that would elevate it to the same statistical dominance as the Ferrari supremacy of 2000-04, is eminently achievable.
Excellence breeds contempt, in sport at least, because it's so easy to take for granted. It shouldn't be that way given how difficult it is to stay on top, especially through the major aerodynamic rule changes of 2017. But a glance at another team holds up a mirror to Mercedes that reflects the astonishing level it has reached: Renault.