Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes have 'work to do' as Ferrari threaten

Tanya Simon
March 14, 2019

The new logo honours the establishment of Scuderia Ferrari in 1929 by Enzo Ferrari and his associates, the team said.

His Ferrari arch-rival Sebastian Vettel swept home in an Australian thriller a year ago, getting a jump on Hamilton after Mercedes miscalculated a pit stop under virtual safety auto conditions. We think they're going to be strong because Honda looks strong now as well and they've always had a good vehicle.

Ferrari has yet to address the future of the Mission Winnow branding, but the initiative's logos are expected to reappear on the SF90 in Bahrain later this month. Mercedes stars Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas came on stage with team chief Toto Wolf, with the British driver snapped taking pictures of the supporters gathered in Melbourne.

They have an unchanged driver line-up this season. "Over the years, I think the approach to races has changed, so I have a lot of things to discover but I am looking forward to it".

"I believe that Mercedes will be very strong in Australia and I think that we would be completely wrong to believe that we are faster than them", he said.

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"What we see from testing, we think [we are underdogs]", Bottas told reporters in Melbourne. "In terms of performance, it's hard to judge where we are".

New team-mate Leclerc mirrored Vettel's thoughts on Ferrari's expectations, with the Monegasque curious to see if its pace in testing will transfer to qualifying on Saturday.

"We're still quite unsure about how Red Bull will be", said Bottas. Over the past two years, the way they've been able to improve the auto during the year has been pretty rapid, so for sure they're going to be a threat as well. It's a massively long season, and always with some regulation changes like this year is going to be a lot about how much you can improve the vehicle, because the cars in Abu Dhabi are going to be so much quicker than this weekend.

Aussie favourite Daniel Ricciardo announced a year ago that he was joining Renault for the 2019 season, and he partners Nico Hulkenburg who will hope to prove his pace beside his new teammate. [And] I think it's a case of adding pure performance, but even then we know we haven't unlocked the full potential of the auto. So whoever is quickest this weekend, it doesn't really matter as long as it's close.

Red Bull will be entering their new Honda era with Dutch hopeful Max Verstappen and Frenchman Pierre Gasly at the helm.

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