Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes are not making it up when they say they believe Ferrari have a significantly quicker car to start the season. The Silver Arrows have been the dominant force in Formula 1 during the hybrid era, winning every Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship in the last five years.
Hamilton and co start the 2019 campaign as the favourites to claim the honours again but have played down expectations of another clean sweep by talking up rivals Ferrari. The Scuderia have been the closest challengers to the Brackley-based outfit over the last two seasons but have slipped out of contention during the latter stages of the battle for F1’s top prizes.
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Heading into this season, the Italians impressed during winter testing, posting the fastest lap time in Barcelona, and Hamilton left the Circuit de Catalunya claiming Ferrari were at least half-a-second quicker than Mercedes. With the season-opening Australian Grand Prix this weekend, the five-time world champion has reiterated his claim by insisting it is not an exaggeration.
“I don’t think it’s difficult to read, I think it’s quite clear,” he said, when asked about F1’s pecking order currently. “However, it’s difficult to know what everyone is doing, naturally we won’t fully know until we get out in the car tomorrow and come qualifying, you start to get a better picture. “Usually over the first few races is when you really get an idea of where everyone stands. We said that we have work to do, we weren’t talking BS, we have work to do.”