Lewis Hamilton was pleased to see several of Mercedes’ rivals setting strong lap times during pre-season testing.
“Without doubt, it’s quite impressive to see the speed of some of the other teams,” said Hamilton.
“I think Red Bull are looking particularly strong. And it’s great to see McLaren also looking strong, also Renault [Alpine]. So I’m excited because that means more fun.”
Mercedes have not had a smooth start to testing. They lost some time with a gearbox problem on the opening day and both drivers have reported similar concerns over the car’s handling. Hamilton is confident they will be able to address their problems.
“I don’t waste time worrying, that deters you from finding the solutions,” he said. “We’re just working hard and focussing on getting through the short amount of testing we have and trying to be as efficient as possible, as we can.
“But I think it’s better when it doesn’t go smoothly. It’s better that it doesn’t go smooth now and goes smooth once we get into the racing scene. So this is the perfect time for us to find the issues and have the problems. And so I welcome that.
“I think everyone’s just keeping their heads down. No-one’s particularly fazed by it. We’re a multi-championship-winning team and we know how to pull together and keep our head down and focus on our job.”
Hamilton will take over from Valtteri Bottas in the W12 for the final four hours of pre-season testing this afternoon. “After this I’m going to sit with my engineers and we’re going to discuss where we’re going to start,” he said during today’s FIA press conference at lunch time.
“Naturally I’ve seen Valtteri’s running today and last night, slightly different conditions when the wind died down. I think track conditions have improved since the storm.”
Fastest times by each team over whole test so far
1. Red Bull – 1’30.187
2. Mercedes – 1’30.289 (+0.102s)
3. AlphaTauri – 1’30.413 (+0.226s)
4. Aston Martin – 1’30.460 (+0.273s)
5. Ferrari – 1’30.486 (+0.299s)
6. McLaren – 1’30.586 (+0.399s)
7. Alfa Romeo – 1’30.760 (+0.573s)
8. Alpine – 1’31.146 (+0.959s)
9. Williams – 1’31.672 (+1.485s)
10. Haas – 1’32.053 (+1.866s)
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