Ferrari hasn't extracted 'full potential' in F1 2019, says Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton believes Ferrari is yet to achieve its "full potential" at any point so far in the 2019 Formula 1 season

Ferrari hasn't extracted 'full potential' in F1 2019, says Hamilton

Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas outpaced the Ferraris throughout the Chinese Grand Prix weekend, making Mercedes the first team to start a season with three one-two finishes since Williams in 1992.

The world champion said that while Charles Leclerc should have won in Bahrain but for power unit problems, Mercedes had positioned itself to take advantage.

"I think we are operating with what we have at its full potential," said Hamilton.

"But there will be more performance improvements to come in the future, we will make steps forward.

"I think in the last race [Bahrain], you can't say that was necessarily on full merit, because weren't quick enough to win the race really.

"But things happened along the way and you had to put yourself in position to get the win, so we did that. But I think particularly the first one [Australia] and particularly this one [China], full on merit.

"The Ferraris, I think they're not extracting, [or it] doesn't look like they're extracting their full potential on the weekend, and then their execution doesn't always look as faultless as they have shown in the past.

"We know that we've got Ferrari knocking at our heels and that the Red Bulls are there or thereabouts somewhere but again, they're not delivering as a whole, as we are as a team and that's what it takes today - just overall maximum attack."

Hamilton has insisted all season that Mercedes genuinely believed Ferrari had the edge after pre-season testing, and that its advantage in the Melbourne season-opener was a surprise.

"Sebastian was also quite quick in the last race so it's difficult to say, but we definitely got through testing [and] we knew that it was very close," said Hamilton.

"We got the car into a window, 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.

"This weekend, 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 but it's a little bit early to say.

"But definitely [with] three one-twos, I think we're over-delivering a little bit at the moment to our true, true potential, but there's still more to come."

shares
comments
F1 must go extreme with qualifying changes or leave it
Previous article

F1 must go extreme with qualifying changes or leave it

Next article

Mercedes: Stacked F1 Chinese GP pitstop was Toto Wolff's idea

Mercedes: Stacked F1 Chinese GP pitstop was Toto Wolff's idea
Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge Plus

Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge

OPINION: At the Williams 2023 Formula 1 season launch, Alex Albon’s easy-going nature was again a point of focus. But does being “too nice” really matter in modern F1? Albon’s own expressions put that in an intriguing new light

How the last Sauber-built Alfa offers F1 2023 evolution clues Plus

How the last Sauber-built Alfa offers F1 2023 evolution clues

Alfa Romeo has become the first Formula 1 team to reveal a new car for 2023, in addition to a fresh livery. This offered a first look at some of the understated changes produced by the revised regulations, along with points of convergence in the second year of the ground effect rules

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline Plus

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

In the hands of Ayrton Senna the actively suspended 99T would be the last F1 race-winning Lotus but, as STUART CODLING reveals, it was a complicated machine that caused more problems than it solved

Formula 1
Feb 5, 2023
How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1 Plus

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Formula 1’s transformation into a global sport meant the gradual extinction for a small team determined to stay true to its low-budget roots. But Tyrrell would eventually be reborn as a world-beating outfit again, explains MAURICE HAMILTON, albeit in different colours…

Formula 1
Feb 4, 2023
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023