Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton believes that the Mercedes 2017 F1 car “looks a thousand times better than everyone else’s”.
The team set the pace on both the first and third day of pre-season testing at Barcelona this week.
Hamilton believes that it’s normal that the team has been seen as the target for other teams, due to it’s recent success, stating:
“Firstly, people always want to big you up at the beginning of the season. Two, we are world champions, and three, our car looks a thousand times better than everyone else’s – so that would be expected. We’re still a solid team, we’re the team to beat – in terms of we are the champions still. But we have a lot of work ahead of us, as does every other team, so we just try to focus on our job and do the best we can.“
The Brit added that Mercedes has not been aiming to gain extra performance from its W08, but instead has focused on gaining extra mileage.
“It’s been a good day, a positive day for the team, lots of laps, lots of information that we’ve gained so we can try to improve the car,” he spoke, following the first day of testing.
“It’s day one, so we’ve not done any work to get the balance perfect.
“Today is really just about ticking off the list, all the checkpoints with the car, and getting mileage for reliability.
“In the days to come we’ll start to improve the car.“
“If we are going to face any issues with the car, it’s better to do it here than in Melbourne [the first race].
“We did more than a race distance, which is good for the first morning, and everything was working good.
“In the second week, it’s going to be much more interesting in terms of where we are compared to the others.“