Former Mercedes head of motorsport Norbert Haug believes the team will win the 2014 championship.

Mercedes made a strong start to 2014 at the first pre-season test in Jerez, with its new power unit proving reliable in the McLaren and Williams cars as well as the works team's car. This year will be Mercedes' fifth season since taking over the Brawn team, and Haug - who left the company at the end of 2012 - believes the time is right for the team to mount a serious challenge for the title.

"It would not surprise me if the title goes to Stuttgart [location of Mercedes-Benz's headquarters] this year," Haug told SID. "This was the plan from the outset ... The Mercedes works team is now in its fifth year. It took Red Bull five years to claim its first victory."

In 2013, Mercedes was the closest challenger to Red Bull but Sebastian Vettel took a dominant fourth drivers' championship. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg managed three victories between them, the most in a single season for Mercedes since it returned to the sport.