Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel will both be hoping to become just the third man to win a fifth Formula One world championship in 2018.
Hamilton prevailed in a battle with Vettel last season as Ferrari finally looked capable of providing a winning driver for the first time since Kimi Raikkonen's triumph in 2007.
The Briton's fourth title came nine years after his first, with his German rival claiming all of his in succession during a dominant stint with Red Bull.
A place in motorsport immortality alongside Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio awaits, but who is best placed to achieve it this year?
The case for Hamilton
Mercedes have been untouchable at the pinnacle of F1 for the past four seasons, with Hamilton only beaten to the title by team-mate Nico Rosberg during that period.
It is difficult to envisage the German team's stranglehold over the sport loosening as they came out of pre-season testing with the best race simulations, although those stints were done on only one tyre compound.
Hamilton trailed Vettel in the early stages of the previous campaign but his single-mindedness and determination to prove himself as one of the elite saw him dig in and, following the mid-season break, he overturned a 14-point deficit to the German with a run of six wins in eight races.
It does not appear winning the championship for a fourth time has taken away any of his desire to make himself the man to beat this year.
"I am on the same level as every driver here, but I want to prove that I am above them and that means I have got to work harder than I have ever worked before," said Hamilton.
It will certainly take something special to stop him from proving that point.
The case for Vettel
Vettel heads into this season as the fastest man across both testing sessions in Barcelona.
The German finally got the chance to challenge for a title in a Ferrari last year, with a run of six successive podiums to start the campaign laying the foundations.
His tilt unravelled in the second half of the season; Vettel was caught in a crash involving Raikkonen and Max Verstappen in Singapore and suffered an engine problem in Japan, and Hamilton took full advantage by winning both races.
If Ferrari can avoid reliability issues across an entire season and the 30-year-old does not have the misfortune of being wiped out of a grand prix, there is every possibility he can push Hamilton all the way.
Should Vettel manage to at least stick close to the Mercedes star, he can force his rival into taking greater risks from which he can deliver a punishing blow.
His performance in Barcelona suggests Ferrari have the speed to cause some real problems this year, but it will take a flawless campaign from him and the team to dethrone Hamilton and Mercedes.
19 de octubre 2018
|´Ambitious´ Maguire wants Champions League football|
|Henry praises ´charismatic leader´ Falcao|
|WATCH: Cardinals WR Fitzgerald tackles former QB Warner on sidelines|
|Spurs right not to make signings – Pochettino|
|Icardi happy at Inter, close to contract renewal|
|This Week in U.S. Sports: Bosa leaves Ohio State while the World Series is almost set|
|Liverpool boost as Salah and Van Dijk join training|
|Cowboys discuss road woes, Prescott says team ´addressed the elephant in the room´|
|Isner scrapes through in Stockholm, Monfils eliminates Tsonga|
18 de octubre 2018
|Hinch says Altuve would be out with injury in regular season|
|WATCH: Schwarzenegger tells LeBron to make Lakers great again|
|LeBron tells Lakers coach Walton: I´m always fresh!|
|Mayweather should come back to fight me - Alvarez|
|Goerges battles past Vekic, Kasatkina wins all-Russian tie|
|Ask 32,000 Gibraltarians if the Nations League is meaningless - Styche|
|They´re going to speak about it for years - Azhar reflects on comical run out|
|Garcia in the mix as weather hits Andalucia Valderrama Masters|
|From lacking a ´football brain´ to signing a new contract – the Mourinho-Shaw saga|
|Alonso teases Indy 500 return as Hamilton reveals NASCAR temptation|
|Guptill ruled out of Black Caps´ UAE tour|
|UEFA investigating PSG-Red Star fan clashes|
|Just ´another weekend´ for champion-elect Hamilton|
|G League will offer $125K to top prospects in lieu of NCAA one-and-done route|
|Chargers defensive end Bosa ´a few weeks´ away from return, says father|
|Bale back in full Real Madrid training|
|Roma supporter found not guilty of inflicting GBH on Liverpool fan Sean Cox|
|´Fantastic´ Neuer will prove he´s still the best, says Lloris|
|Perez secures Force India stay|
|Australia wait on Khawaja scan|
|Shaw signs Manchester United extension|
|Jones lays down challenge to snubbed England star Cipriani|
|West Ham´s Pellegrini rejects Dzeko speculation|
|Emery fails to assure Ramsey of Arsenal future|
|Pakistan on course for victory after Babar 99 and farcical run out|
|Canelo ready to leave comfort zone to face Fielding|
|Eriksen ready for Tottenham return, Pochettino confirms|
|Titans coach rocked by Hurrell´s Rhinos switch|
|Rubin Kazan suspended from UEFA competition for FFP breach|
|Real Madrid could sack Lopetegui if results don´t improve, says Essien|
|On-court coaching would add to drama - Mouratoglou|
|Babbel lauds ´top class´ Ronaldo after Juventus switch|
|Carmelo Anthony: Rockets bench role challenging mentally|
|Maqsood preferred to Amir in Pakistan T20 squad|
|Make Ramsey Arsenal captain, don´t let him leave – Wilshere|
|Kaneria admits guilt in spot-fixing case|
|No coach can work miracles – Ibrahimovic defends under-fire Mourinho|
|Morgan earns England recall, Cipriani overlooked|
|Reavie leads CJ Cup, solid start from Koepka|
|Juventus kicked me out to sign Ronaldo – Higuain|
|England forward Hughes given six-week ban|
|Injured Halep withdraws from WTA Finals|
|Ronaldo exit makes all the difference for Real Madrid – Luxemburgo|
|Manchester United´s Chelsea Blues and other one-sided rivalries|
|Babbel fears for Kovac´s Bayern future|
|Bradley homers again, Red Sox take 3-1 lead over Astros|
|Ayton, Doncic shine on NBA debuts|
|Leonard focusing on future after Raptors debut|
|MLS Review: Rooney stunner seals DC win, Sounders clinch play-off spot|
|Pochettino ´proud´ of Dier for Ramos tackle|
|Wallabies name three uncapped players for All Blacks clash|
|Lakers coach Walton will monitor LeBron´s minutes, plans to use deep rotation|
|Lloris: United´s Pogba unfairly judged because of transfer fee|
|´Phenomenon´ Mbappe deserves Ballon d´Or, says Buffon|
|Dodgers on cusp of World Series after beating Brewers|
|Mata braced for ´difficult month´ at Man United|
|WATCH: Rooney scores wonderful free-kick for DC United|
|Kaino handed five-week ban for striking Roberts|
|Bears star Khalil Mack ´day-to-day´ with ankle injury|
|Anthony has ´a clearer understanding´ of his role with Rockets|
|Brewers remove Miley after one batter against Dodgers|