Hamilton: Mercedes "not talking BS" about Ferrari deficit

Reigning Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton says he and his Mercedes team “weren't talking BS” about their testing form and current deficit to Ferrari.

Hamilton: Mercedes "not talking BS" about Ferrari deficit

Ferrari's new SF90 car has been widely regarded as the early benchmark of the 2019 F1 field, and Hamilton suggested in Barcelona that Mercedes could be as much as half a second adrift.

Soon after that, however, the Silver Arrows unleashed more pace, and Hamilton ended the test just 0.003s slower than pace-setter Sebastian Vettel.

Ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, Hamilton said it was “not difficult to read” Mercedes' testing form, and insisted the team wasn't playing mind games with its pre-season estimations.

“I think it [Mercedes' form] was quite clear, however it’s difficult to know what everyone’s doing, so naturally we won’t fully know until we get out in the car tomorrow.

“And come qualifying you get a better picture, and usually, over the first few races is when you really start to get an idea of where everyone stands.

“But we said that we have work to do and we weren’t talking BS. We have work to do.”

Read also:

Teammate Valtteri Bottas said Ferrari's car looked “maybe more stable” than his new W10 initially, and reiterated Mercedes would take extra motivation from having to chase its rival.

“I can see people very motivated, and even though we don't feel like we are the quickest at the moment, somehow there's good work ethic, motivation.

“Definitely when I was at the factory last week , I saw people are really putting a lot of effort and trying to make our package better with the tools we have here.

“It's definitely a bit [of a] different feeling to previous years. I think normally in testing at Barcelona we've been quite strong, and we've seen in the last couple of years here Ferrari being always strong.

“Now we know as a fact they are going to be really strong and we really need to improve if we want to beat them.”

Bottas insisted Mercedes had made significant gains since the end of testing, despite the W10 car not running at the track in the meantime.

“Nowadays in Formula 1 after two weeks of testing, the amount of data you have to analyse, to try to learn and improve is a lot.

“So it's been very useful two weeks since testing. I feel we have made improvements already, even though we haven't driven a single lap since testing.

“I'm confident we can be in a better shape. I'm sure every team has learned since testing, but it's only guessing at the minute.”

Hamilton stressed, however, that Mercedes “didn't bring upgrades” to Melbourne.

“Everyone takes a step after testing. The car will be fresher here, we’ll have a much better understanding of it – but I think it’s the same for everyone,” he said.

“We didn’t bring upgrades. It will be interesting to see how the Red Bull upgrade works, and I know some other people, Ferrari usually bring an upgrade for the first race, so it’ll be interesting to see.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W10

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W10

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / LAT Images

shares
comments
Shell contributed 21% to Ferrari's 2018 engine gains

Previous article

Shell contributed 21% to Ferrari's 2018 engine gains

Next article

Kubica return earns rivals' applause

Kubica return earns rivals' applause
Load comments
French Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

French Grand Prix driver ratings

The French GP was a weekend decided by tiny margins both at the front of the field, as Red Bull inflicted a comeback defeat on Mercedes, and in the battle for the minor points places. That's reflected in our driver ratings, where several drivers came close to a maximum score

How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes Prime

How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes

The French GP has been a stronghold for Mercedes since Paul Ricard's return to the calendar in 2018. But that all changed on Sunday, as a clever two-stop strategy guided Red Bull's Max Verstappen to make a race-winning pass on the penultimate lap - for once leaving Mercedes to experience the pain of late defeat it has so often inflicted on Red Bull

The Mercedes lap that puts F1 victory fight back on a knife-edge Prime

The Mercedes lap that puts F1 victory fight back on a knife-edge

Red Bull led the way after the first two practice sessions for the 2021 French Grand Prix, but only just ahead of Mercedes. There was all the usual practice skulduggery complicating the performance picture, but one aspect seen at the world champion squad gave it a ‘surprise’ lift, as it looks to leave its street-circuit struggles firmly in the past.

Formula 1
Jun 19, 2021
How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working Prime

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working

After its worst campaign in 40 years, the famous Italian team had to bounce back in 2021 – and it appears to be delivering. Although it concedes the pole positions in Monaco and Baku paint a somewhat misleading picture of its competitiveness, the team is heading into the 2022 rules revamp on much stronger footing to go for wins again

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again Prime

The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021
Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future Prime

Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Motorsport.com in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Prime

How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbon fibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021