Mercedes overdelivering, Ferrari yet to hook it up - Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton believes Formula 1’s early 2019 results are down to Mercedes overdelivering combined with Ferrari having yet to optimise its car.

Mercedes and Ferrari left pre-season testing closely-matched but since then have each held a sizeable pace advantage over the other at the opening trio of grands prix.

Mercedes dominated in Australia and China, while Ferrari held the fastest package in Bahrain, only to miss out courtesy of Charles Leclerc’s engine issue and Sebastian Vettel’s spin.

It has left Mercedes in the midst of its best start to a Formula 1 season, courtesy of three straight 1-2 finishes, to sit 57 points clear of Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship.

“I think the [Bahrain result] probably wouldn’t have been a 1-2 if… obviously if they hadn’t have had the reliability issue we would have been second and third or second and fourth, whatever it was,” said Hamilton.

“And obviously with the results, Sebastian was also quite quick in the last race so it’s difficult to say but we definitely got through testing, we knew that it was very close, we got the car into a window but we knew that it was within a couple of tenths but we did think that they had the upper hand.

“I’m just not sure they’ve really hooked up a proper solid weekend just yet but it was looking like it was going to be a solid weekend for them in Bahrain and then it started to tail off.

“[In China] they were a bit up and down throughout the weekend.

“I’m not really sure where they are losing out but they’re gaining something like 0.4s on the straights but losing out on corners so it will be interesting to see how long they adopt that strategy in the coming races but there are still so many races where their car will perhaps outshine ours.

“They’ve still got the shorter car than ours so it might work better in some other places that we’re going to.

“I think we’re over-delivering a little bit at the moment to our true, true potential but there’s still more to come.”

Hamilton’s opening to the year – with two wins and a second place – equals his strongest start to a season in his Formula 1 career.