Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has responded to comments made by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, stating the team is not attempting to portray itself as underdogs for the 2022 Formula 1 season.
At pre-season testing in Bahrain, Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell complemented Ferrari by saying it appeared to possess the strongest car on the grid.
Sainz responded to Russell’s words, believing that it was a “typical” Mercedes tactic to play itself down before producing the fastest challenger at the opening race of the year.
“I think it’s typical Mercedes, typical George, hyping up the others and then come to the first race and blow the competition away,” Sainz said.
“If it was the first year they’ve done it, but they’ve done it for five or six years now and they keep surprising us in the first race.
“As you can imagine, I don’t believe much. In the GPS we can already see what they’re doing.”
Hamilton too praised Ferrari and Red Bull when asked who he thought would be winning if the season started tomorrow.
“I think Ferrari, from what I can see, today Ferrari would probably be getting a 1-2 or maybe Red Bull,” he said.
However, the seven-time World Champion denies that Mercedes is purposely cooling its own chances, pointing to the on-track hurdles that he has faced so far behind the wheel of the W13.
“We’d be really, really good if we were having all these oversteer moments and having this tacky driving just to hide our cards,” Hamilton said.
“It’s not the case, no. We have things that we’re trying to get through, as I said, others are struggling less.
“Who knows – maybe when we get to next week we’ll have a better understanding.”
Mercedes enters the year chasing a ninth consecutive Constructors’ Championship, having not missed out on a teams’ title so far in the turbo-hybrid era.
Sainz is bang on it. Mercedes is a team chock full of habitual liars. It’s disappointing to see Russell following the line, I hope he sees sense soon, because I think he’s better than that.
As Carlos said, we’ve heard this all before. It’s getting a bit old. It reminds me of the line from Princess Bride by Andre the Giant when he says,”I just want you to feel that you’re doing well.”
Why can’t Mercedes just race…instead of playing games and complaining their always being wronged. When Russell took over for Hamilton; when he got covid; SMOKED the others. Then told over the radio to come in for a flat tire.
I have worked in Mercedes, the pre-season test struggles have been a real thing for a few years. What people don’t understand is how quickly things change and usually Mercedes get a grip on the issues really well really quickly. They are not liars.
If true, I’m sure Lulu has already begun writing his retirement speech.
Lulu is the 8X WDC . Put some respect on his name. The world outside Europe knows the race was rigged to for the next Hope.