Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes not BS-ing over position

Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes not BS-ing over position

Across the paddock Ferrari's pre-season pace has been the talk of the town, with the prancing horse seemingly the team to beat ahead of lights out in Melbourne on Sunday, though testing is not always the be-all and end-all of a teams' destiny.

Having won 11 of 21 races last season, another F1 title would put Hamilton one shy of Michael Schumacher's record of seven and stir the debate about the greatest racer of all time.

"They have a very stable platform, and we definitely have work to do on that".

Last season we saw Ferrari start off with a bang and they kept up with the tempo.

"The name of this year's vehicle, the SF90, is already a celebration of this anniversary and, on top of that (we have) chose to honour this achievement in an even more evident manner in Melbourne", Ferrari said in a statement.

Ferrari did have the fastest auto for much of the season. 'This is going to be the toughest battle yet, ' he claimed. "We have experience, it's no coincidence that we are world champions so we have to be diligent and stay balanced", added Hamilton, who has won twice in Melbourne, in 2008 and 2015.

Mercedes AMG F1 2019 Barcelona Pre Season Test 2 Day 4 – Steve Etherington
Mercedes AMG F1 2019 Barcelona Pre Season Test 2 Day 4 – Steve Etherington

As ever, both Ferrari and Mercedes are being extremely cagey.

The four-times champion will bid for a third successive win at Albert Park's season-opener, having foiled pole-sitter Hamilton amid a virtual safety auto deployment previous year.

Meanwhile Red Bull, powered by new Honda engines, have high hopes that Max Verstappen, who finished fourth in the drivers' standings a year ago, can crash the Hamilton-Vettel party.

Mercedes stars Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas came on stage with team chief Toto Wolf, with the British driver snapped taking pictures of the supporters gathered in Melbourne.

Charles Leclerc impressed last term and has earned a seat beside Vettel who will no doubt be seeking his 5th drivers title after 2018's disappointment. The 29-year-old Finn is now entering his third year with the world champions and says it is time to be more selfish in order to achieve his career goal of winning the world championship.

"We have got so many incredible people within the team and the energy is really, really inspiring to see so many people pumped and pulling together", he said.


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