Nico Rosberg says he feels Mercedes is now in a position to challenge Red Bull for top honours in F1 next season.
The Brackley-based outfit won three times in 2013 to emerge as best of the rest behind Red Bull in the championship standings, albeit more than 200 points down on the title winners in the constructors' championship.
However, with new regulations coming into force for 2014, Mercedes will aim to take steps forward to challenge Red Bull for honours, with Rosberg saying he felt a title challenge was possible.
"We've made massive progress and really everybody believes that this team can do it and beat Red Bull," he told ESPN
. "We've shown we have such competence now and such a great car after making a massive step over the winter. There's this momentum now and everybody in the team believes that we can make it happen, not that we didn't before but we have the facts to back it up now.
"[2014 is] a great opportunity for us to close that gap to Red Bull and make a big step. It's a great opportunity not only for the car but also the engine and getting it together is a massive mission for everybody. But I think we're ready for such a mission and it's good that it didn't come a year before because that would not have been so good. It's the right moment and we're ready for it.”
Rosberg added that, on a personal level, he was exicted by the new challenges that would be created by the change in engine rules for 2014, with new 1.6 litre turbo-charged units being brought in.
"I'm very happy that there are so many big changes coming because I really enjoy the whole technical side to it ,” he said. “I can nearly call it a passion because I'm really interested in it and I like to get the most out of it. I hope that maybe I can pull out a bit of an advantage from all these changes that are coming."