Hamilton: Ferrari "not extracting their full potential"

Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton believes the rival Ferrari team has not been "extracting their full potential" in the opening races of the 2019 season.

Hamilton: Ferrari "not extracting their full potential"

Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas outpaced the Maranello cars almost all weekend in China as Mercedes became the first team to start the year with three 1-2s since Williams in 1992.

The world champion stressed that while Charles Leclerc was the moral winner in Bahrain the race before, Mercedes had to be there to take advantage of his power unit problems.

“I think with what we have we are operating at its full potential,” he said. “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, full on merit.

More from Chinese GP:

“I think the others, they've got a good car, 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 we know 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. It will be interesting to see how the next races go.”

Hamilton has insisted all year that Mercedes genuinely believed that Ferrari had the advantage after testing, and that the way the season-opening Australian Grand Prix panned out was a surprise.

“We definitely got through testing, we knew that it was very close, we got the car into a window but 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 three 1-2s, 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
Leclerc deserved more time before team order - Rosberg
Previous article

Leclerc deserved more time before team order - Rosberg

Next article

Ferrari and Mercedes outliers in Baku F1 tyre picks

Ferrari and Mercedes outliers in Baku F1 tyre picks
Load comments
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021