Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton expects a close fight between Mercedes and Ferrari when the 2016 season unfolds this weekend at Melbourne.
Echoing the concerns of teammate Nico Rosberg, Hamilton predicts a real battle between them and the Italian team in the coming season. While Mercedes was impressive with its reliability and pace, it was the Prancing Horse that topped the time sheets with Kimi Raikkonen setting the fastest lap of the pre-season.
According to an article that appeared in Eurosport, the Mercedes driver could not hide his excitement and is looking forward for a tough battle with the Italian team. “Honestly, I think we are really going to have a real battle and Ferrari has picked up its game. They were strong towards the end of last year and I think they have made significant improvements from last year to this year.”
“They did some incredible times at the last test in some long runs they did and I believed they had not upgrades during testing so I imagine they will bring a good package at the first race. I think you are going to see a good fight which is what I want and we want in the sport.” Hamilton added.
Ferrari topped the time sheets in five of the eight pre-season testing days with Vettel registering the fastest time on three occasions and Raikkonen leading the way in two.
The sentiments of the two Mercedes derivers was shared by team boss Toto Wolf, who said that it was not the headline times that worries them the most. “Ferrari looked equally good and there were some interesting laps in their long-run simulation as well as in the single laps that gives us an indication that their car is very fast as well.”
But at the end of the day, it all boils down to what you can deliver during the race weekend. Only then can it be gauged whether or not the cars are good enough for a championship and good enough for race victories as well.
Photo Courtesy : F1.wikia.com