Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes have 'work to do' as Ferrari threaten

Ross Houston
March 14, 2019

"Over the Australian Grand Prix weekend, the SF90 livery, the drivers' race suits and some of the team's track equipment will bear the logo celebrating 90 years of the Scuderia", said the House of Maranello in a statement.

Ferrari were faster this year in pre-season testing and a strong start for them will test arch-rivals Mercedes.

Last season we saw Ferrari start off with a bang and they kept up with the tempo.

Lewis Hamilton- Lewis Hamilton relaxed as Briton prepares for Australian Grand Prix
Hamilton has appeared relaxed in Melbourne in the countdown to the Australian Grand Prix Credit GETTY IMAGES

Ferrari has yet to address the future of the Mission Winnow branding, but the initiative's logos are expected to reappear on the SF90 in Bahrain later this month.

Lewis Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas has made clear that he no longer wants to be cast in a support role at Mercedes.

Formula One is changing its scoring system to award a point to the driver who sets the fastest race lap.

"My last Formula 1 race was in Abu Dhabi 2010, so I am looking forward to going to Australia with a few things to cover and learn". "In terms of performance, it's hard to judge where we are".

But Hamilton later told Sky Sports: "It might be closer than we think, it might be a bigger gap than we think".

Under different management and after a positive winter testing, Ferrari have arrived in Melbourne with a fast auto and plenty of buzz, raising expectation of a genuine challenge to five years of Mercedes dominance. "We don't know what they've got up their sleeve". "We're going to be kind of chasing". It's a massively long season, and always with some regulation changes like this year is going to be a lot about how much you can improve the auto, because the cars in Abu Dhabi are going to be so much quicker than this weekend. "We have experience, it's no coincidence that we are world champions so we have to be diligent and stay balanced", said Hamilton, who has won twice in Melbourne. "I'm confident the auto will be better here [than in testing], but if it's enough, we'll find out". Over the past two years, the way they've been able to improve the vehicle during the year has been pretty rapid, so for sure they're going to be a threat as well.

And it is not only the threat of Ferrari that concerns Bottas, the Finn also expecting Red Bull to go well with their new Honda engines.

Some paddock analysts believe Ferrari, who will pair Charles Leclerc with Sebastian Vettel this year, could be as much as four-tenths of a second ahead for the Albert Park curtain-raiser.

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