Lewis Hamilton has accepted that his Mercedes team will face a challenging beginning to the Formula 1 season as they are currently trailing behind the reigning champions Red Bull.
Lewis Hamilton admitted in Bahrain that Mercedes are “not where we wanted to start the season”.
“I knew from the moment I drove the car where we were and the challenges we are facing,Lewis Hamilton said.
Team-mate George Russell added: “It is going to be a challenging weekend if we want to fight for victory.”
The general consensus among the paddock, both before the start of the opening race this weekend and after last week’s pre-season testing, is that Red Bull, with their top driver and two-time champion Max Verstappen, are significantly superior to the other teams in the field.
Ferrari, Mercedes and the much-improved Aston Martin team are believed to be next in line.
“Red Bull are in a bit of a league of their own in Bahrain this weekend but there will be a nice fight for second place probably with Ferrari and Aston Martin.”, Russell added
Both Hamilton and Russell expressed their assurance that Mercedes has the capability to replicate their impressive development throughout the last season. This resulted in their recovery from a slow start, and they ultimately secured a one-two finish at the penultimate race.
“There is no reason why we can’t fight as the season hots up,” Russell said.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Verstappen’s closest challenger last year, said:
“Red Bull and max seem to be very strong. It is only testing so it is difficult to quantify by how much but it seems they are a bit in front compared to us so we have some work to do.Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Verstappen’s closest challenger last year, said.
“It is very difficult to know where we are but the global picture tells me we are a bit behind.”
Read Also: Formula 1 Explained For Beginners
And Verstappen said that the new Red Bull was better “everywhere” than the car with which he dominated last year’s championship and broke the record for wins in a season.
Lewis Hamilton said that Mercedes’ competitive position would not affect his desire to stay with the team beyond the end of his current contract this season.
We shall keep you up to date on the Baharian Grad prix and the latest Formula 1 results.