Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes is currently behind its main Formula 1 rivals but that the team’s situation is incomparable to its predicament 12 months ago.
Mercedes struggled during pre-season testing in Bahrain last year as its heavily revised package failed to deliver the anticipated gains.
Hamilton quipped that “everyone was just distraught” after the 2022 test and “everyone left here with their head in their hands” due to Mercedes’ predicament.
That has not been the case after 2023’s pre-season test with the W14.
“There’s been a lot of discovery,” he said. “This is my 11th year with the team and everyone’s turned up with the same mentality, working hard – no-one’s been complacent.
“We realise that we have a mountain to climb and no-one’s fussed, everyone’s just kept their heads down.”
“Everyone in the garage, everyone back here and I know everyone back at the factory will be churning through all this data and pushing on.
“Reliability has generally been good – obviously we had a stop [on Friday] but generally it has been relatively good. And at the end there it’s always nice when the track gets a bit cooler and you put on the softer tires and see the steps between them all. We’re not quite where we want to be, but it’s a good platform to start from.”
Hamilton added that Mercedes “has some things we need to work on, it’s still not perfect, and we are still not able to match the Red Bulls currently, or the Ferraris maybe, but it is better.
“There are things that have changed – the bouncing has gone – and there are a couple of elements that have been better so far.
“Who knows where we will be next week? We’ve just got to stay positive, we’ve got to manifest what we want and just got to continue to push and that’s what we live for.”
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