Hamilton hopes Mercedes updates frighten Ferrari and Red Bull

Lewis Hamilton hopes the major update package Mercedes has introduced for the Austrian Grand Prix will "frighten" main rivals Ferrari and Red Bull

Hamilton hopes Mercedes updates frighten Ferrari and Red Bull

Although Mercedes has officially said little about the updates for this weekend's race, the changes to the W09 include upgraded sidepods, bargeboards and rear wing.

While Hamilton admitted he was not yet up to speed with the precise nature of the updates, he acknowledged that it was the biggest package of changes Mercedes has produced so far in 2018.

"Up until now we've not really had a lot of development parts on the car, so it's great to see," he said.

"I'm aware that the guys have been working increasingly harder to try and make sure that we bring quality rather than quantity.

"So it's great to see some new bits here this weekend, and I'm excited to try them on track.

"It will undoubtedly help us in our battle to frighten the other guys.

"I'm excited because when you bolt something to the car - which we haven't really bolted to the car this year, it's one of the first real serious upgrades - it's great when you get out there.

"You feel the first couple of points [of downforce] straight away in a certain corner, you feel those improvements.

"I'm looking forward to experiencing it tomorrow, and trying to figure out where those improvements are on the circuit.

"I've not really looked at the pieces, and only got told about it this morning.

"They mentioned it to me ages ago, but I don't really think about that stuff, I only think about how I can get the car in the right ballpark so I [can] do what I do.

"But hopefully that will help me do it more."

Valtteri Bottas also welcomed any gains that have been made on the chassis side with the new parts, given Mercedes' close battle with Ferrari and Red Bull.

"I hope it's massive," he said. "On paper it's a decent upgrade, which is very much needed, like any small gain this year, so [I'm] looking forward to trying it out.

"Last weekend with the new engine it was positive, but even with the engines between us and Ferrari the margins are very small.

"I don't feel like we really have the upper hand like we had in past years, so any small gains are important."

Hamilton expects to see the closest qualifying session of the season so far around the short Red Bull Ring lap, where Q3 lap times could get close to the one minute mark.

"Everyone's got some sort of upgrades," he said. "I anticipate it being probably one of the closest qualifying sessions that we've had this season.

"That's my feeling, but I might be wrong.

"I hope I am - I hope that we qualify one-two with a better gap than that. But I also hope that it is close, and it's about those fine tenths of a second."

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