F1 Australian GP: Ferrari still quickest, downplaying hype - Hamilton

Adjust Comment Print

Mercedes have dominated in recent seasons, Nico Rosberg winning the world title a year ago off the back of two Hamilton championships, the Mercedes duo the only realistic title contenders over the course of those seasons.

Hamilton lost out on his fourth drivers' championship to Nico Rosberg, his Mercedes team-mate who is now retired - a result the Briton put down to reliability issues. I would love that.

"So if I had my choice for next year I'd be saying that we go the week before the AFL starts, then we've got a happy median for everyone".

"So, yeah, you want to be racing against the best. The fans want to see that".

"Any true motor sport lover simply has to see them in the flesh". 2017 is welcoming a new breed of vehicle that appears to have evened out the grid better than what has previously been seen, and Hamilton mentioned the possible benefits regular changes could achieve.

"So far, from what I have seen, everything seems pretty close, but it is only testing and we were always driving at a different time of day, doing different run plans and programmes, so it is impossible to say".

Pre-season testing in Barcelona saw Ferrari play catch-up with Mercedes, finishing the sessions as the fastest auto on each of the four tyre compounds - a strong statement of intent ahead of the opening race of the season at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

"I see Ferrari being the quickest", said the British racer.

"I'm fully up for a challenge and a fight and that's what I prepare for so I think it's not a bad thing".

Martin McGuinness, terrorist godfather and the Queen's Minister
McGuinness played a central role in the power-sharing government in Northern Ireland following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. The Queen is to send a private letter of condolence to the widow of Martin McGuinness, it was revealed today.

"They were the quickest in testing, we couldn't match them", he said.

"It is interesting to see Sebastian is usually a lot more hyped, but I can tell he is excited and trying to keep a lid on it". "Every year you go out to beat everyone, and the more of a fight you have, the more satisfying it is when you are victorious".

As Hamilton's star has continued to rise since his shock move from McLaren to Mercedes in 2013, the race wins have kept flooding in.

"Obviously Mercedes has been in very, very strong form the last few years".

It is hoped that the sweeping regulation change brought in over the winter with the aim of making the cars faster will make for better racing, with teams challenging the recent dominance of Mercedes. "I think they will definitely be the favourite".

"For all of us sitting here we are obviously trying our best to catch up". While I think Mercedes will have too much over the season, my money is on the Scuderia to end its win drought in Australia.

"As the season goes on I'm sure the cars will have big progression and all the teams will bring lots of stuff to develop the vehicle".

Something similar has come out of two pre-season tests in Barcelona. They have won 50 races in the last three years, we've won five and Ferrari three. "We will get the first impression on Sunday", Vettel said.