Mercedes F1's Hamilton yet to get 2017 car 'into a good window'

Lewis Hamilton says he hasn't yet found the sweet spot with his new Mercedes Formula 1 car, but feels he at least has a platform to fight Ferrari and Red Bull

Mercedes F1's Hamilton yet to get 2017 car 'into a good window'

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen further sealed his team's position as early-season favourite with the fastest time of the winter in F1 pre-season testing at Barcelona on Friday.

And while Hamilton says there are no alarm bells ringing about Mercedes' progress during a mixed final week of testing, he suggested he had not yet got the best out of the car.

"I haven't got it into a good window yet," he said, when asked by Autosport about whether or not he felt the Mercedes was as fast as his main opposition.

"I don't know if it can go as fast as them. I really don't.

"We will find out. We hope we can. They have done a fantastic job."

Hamilton's new team-mate Valtteri Bottas suggested during the final test that Mercedes still has "hard work" to do to unlock the potential of its 2017 W08.

"Do we have more potential? Time will tell," Hamilton added.

"Again, we have just been focusing on trying to understand this car and get the most of out of it.

"We've had up and down days and there has generally never been a perfect day but there is a lot of potential in the car to continue to grow but I will say the others look very, very fast."

While Mercedes still has two weeks to determine its final package for the Australian Grand Prix, Hamilton suggests things are close at the front, looking like a proper three-way fight for victory with Ferrari and Red Bull.

Raikkonen's best lap of 1m18.634s set on Friday was seven tenths of a second faster than Hamilton's best time of the winter, 1m19.352s.

He also distanced himself from comments that Ferrari had been "bluffing" by not showing its full potential.

"I don't know where the bluffing came from? Did I say that? Maybe I did... I didn't realise I was saying it," he said.

"I think they have been doing a fantastic job and there is more to come from them. I think their pace here this week has really been spectacular and still Red Bull are there.

"I don't know if they've brought their upgrade package here this week, but usually they bring it to the first race so I expect us to have a serious battle with both these teams."

shares
comments
F1 testing pacesetter Raikkonen believes Ferrari had more speed
Previous article

F1 testing pacesetter Raikkonen believes Ferrari had more speed

Next article

John Surtees' 10 greatest F1 drives ranked

John Surtees' 10 greatest F1 drives ranked
The relaxed home life that helps F1’s Danish superstar to deliver Plus

The relaxed home life that helps F1’s Danish superstar to deliver

The unrelenting grasp of the tax man prompts most racing drivers to move to the likes of Monaco, Switzerland or Dubai. But, as OLEG KARPOV found out, Kevin Magnussen is quite happy where he is, thank you very much – at home, with his family, in Denmark

Formula 1
Oct 5, 2022
How Perez has shown what many F1 drivers need from the 2022 season run-in Plus

How Perez has shown what many F1 drivers need from the 2022 season run-in

OPINION: Sergio Perez’s Singapore triumph arrested a big decline in his Formula 1 performances against Max Verstappen at Red Bull since his Monaco win. He now needs to maintain his form to the season’s end, while others are also seeking a change in fortunes

Formula 1
Oct 5, 2022
How the FIA should punish any breaches of the F1 cost cap Plus

How the FIA should punish any breaches of the F1 cost cap

OPINION: On Wednesday, the FIA will issue F1 teams with compliance certificates if they stuck to the 2021 budget cap. But amid rumours of overspending, the governing body must set a critical precedent. It needs to carefully pick between revisiting the bitterness of Abu Dhabi, a contradictory punishment and ensuring parity for the rest of the ground-effect era

Formula 1
Oct 4, 2022
Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

A testing return to the Singapore Grand Prix in tricky conditions created plenty of hazards and mistakes for the Formula 1 drivers to fall into. That partly explains a number of low scores, including from a handful of high profile runners, allowing others to take a starring role under the floodlights

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP Plus

The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP

In a marathon Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, Sergio Perez’s victory was only assured hours after the race due to a stewards investigation. Throughout the contest the Red Bull driver impressively held off Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in changing conditions to see the Mexican pull out enough of an advantage to negate his post-race penalty

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams Plus

The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams

What happens, asks MATT KEW, if the old adage of win on a Sunday, sell on a Monday is no longer true for F1 manufacturers?

Formula 1
Oct 2, 2022
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Plus

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022