“They’re going to be a different machine or animal”- Lewis Hamilton is cautious of the resources Red Bull having ahead of the 2021 season.
Lewis Hamilton had a rough pre-season testing, from spinning into the gravel on Saturday to an underwhelming rear-end balance; Mercedes started on a nod, which it never wanted.
At the same time, he is impressed by the progress made by Red Bull and now wants his team to be wary of their rivals, as they have a quality pair driving on a good car.
“They’re looking strong,” said Hamilton about Red Bull. “They’ve had some excellent running. Max is looking, and both the drivers, I think, have been looking quite strong.”
“They’re going to be a different machine or animal this year with, I think, an excellent strong line-up of the two drivers, and I think a perfect car.
“Having seen them win the last race, you can only assume they’re going to be right there, if not at the front, of the first race. It’s going to be a great long battle with them throughout the year.”
Lewis Hamilton far from worried
With the rough start in the pre-season testing, Mercedes have managed to improve the car’s handling. But Hamilton is not worried and claims it is better to be exposed at the start than later.
“I don’t waste time worrying,” he said. “That deters you from finding the solution, so we are just working hard and focusing on getting through the short amount of testing we have and trying to be as efficient as we possibly can with it.
“I think it’s better when it doesn’t go smoothly, or it’s better that it doesn’t go smooth now and goes smooth once we get into the racing scene. This is the perfect time for us to find the issues and have the problems, so I welcome that.
“I think everyone’s just keeping their heads down. No-one is phased by it. We are a multi championship-winning team, and we know how to pull together and keep our head down and focus on the job.
“But, without a doubt, it is quite impressive to see the speed of some of the other teams. I think Red Bull are looking particularly strong. And it’s great to see McLaren also looking strong, also Renault [Alpine]. So I’m excited, also, because that means more fun.”