Hamilton: Ferrari may be 0.5s clear of Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton thinks Mercedes could trail Ferrari by as much as half a second as Formula 1 pre-season testing draws to a close.

Hamilton: Ferrari may be 0.5s clear of Mercedes

Ferrari boasts the quickest time from the two weeks of running at Barcelona so far, with Mercedes' best time – set by Valtteri Bottas on the final morning – currently three tenths slower.

Hamilton believes Ferrari's advantage could be even bigger, although he admitted he is "not quite sure" what the true gap is.

"I think it's potentially half a second," he said. "Something like that, potentially.

"We will be analysing a lot from this test and there will be some mods that we try to implement.

"There's not a lot of time hopefully we'll gain a tenth at least just on our understanding of the car.

"The car is old now, it's worn and torn, so we'll have new components. All that stuff will come along. So, it's interesting."

Fuel loads and engine modes can contribute to dramatic swings in laptimes, which makes it almost impossible to make direct comparisons in testing.

Hamilton said he was not particularly concerned by replicating Ferrari's laptimes as "there's no reward for being quickest in testing so it doesn't really matter".

Mercedes introduced a new aerodynamic package for the second week of testing at Barcelona, which Bottas said on Thursday had improved its weak points.

Hamilton agreed with his teammate but when asked by Motorsport.com if he expected a half-second advantage to be real, or be reduced by the season-opener in Australia on March 17, Hamilton said: "I have no reason to expect that to come down.

"The testing, you have to take it with a pinch of salt. We could get there and it could be bigger. We could get there and it could be less. We could get there and it could be equal.

"I really have no idea. There is no way when you are looking at the GPS to know what fuel load they are on, or what engine mode they are on.

"They are faster on the straights than us. Is that because they have their flexi wings that they have had in the past that drops drag, or are they more turned up than us, or are they more efficient and have less drag than us in general, or are we heavier?

"We have no idea we really won't know until we get to the race.

"Of course naturally we hope that it is definitely not bigger than what we might see now and we hope it is better.

"But we cannot bank on that so we have to work towards trying to close the gap that might be there, or is there."

shares
comments
Vettel sets fastest time so far in F1 testing

Previous article

Vettel sets fastest time so far in F1 testing

Next article

Alfa Romeo retains Calderon as test driver

Alfa Romeo retains Calderon as test driver
Load comments
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Prime

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus Prime

How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Prime

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021