Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes not BS-ing over position
Reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton has insisted Mercedes “is not talking BS” over its position compared to expected Formula 1 title rival Ferrari.
Hamilton suggested during testing that Ferrari held potentially a half-second per lap advantage over Mercedes while team-mate Valtteri Bottas reckons his team heads into 2019 as underdogs.
Mercedes has claimed both Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles in each year of the hybrid era, and on each occasion has wrapped up the respective championship with at least a race to spare.
But Hamilton swatted aside suggestions that Mercedes is trying to play down its expectations.
“I don’t think it’s difficult to read, I think it’s quite clear,” he said of the pecking order.
“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.”
Hamilton nonetheless stressed that he has full faith in Mercedes’ ability to deliver through the course of the 2019 campaign.
“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.
“The communication is better, just after the test I went back [to the factory] and Toto [Wolff] rallied the troops and we all sat together.
“It was really impressive to see so many people so passionate about their jobs and so passionate about racing and always wanting to do a better job to improve and knowing where they can they improve. So that’s really cool to see and encouraging.
“They are the soldiers, the real true fighters within the team and I know they will be giving everything to make sure that we progress.”