Hamilton ended Friday on a good note in Barcelona, topping FP2 and sending out a statement regarding the pace of that ‘upgraded’ W09.
Red Bull did seem pretty close to Mercedes, but couldn’t better Hamilton, as the Brit seemed pretty focussed with his laps today.
And while Red Bull and Mercedes did have a very fruitful free practice, Ferrari didn’t quite turn up.
Hamilton however believes that Ferrari are probably sandbagging and would show their actual pace in qualifying tomorrow.
“I think it’s still very close,” Hamilton said.
“Not really quite sure where Ferrari’s pace was today, but they’re probably sandbagging, or something, they’ll bring it out tomorrow.
“The Red Bull’s obviously very close to my pace, so I think, again, it’s going to be relatively close between the top three teams.
“I can’t really tell you which one’s quickest at the moment – because again, fuelling [levels] and maybe one didn’t get their lap or something like that, tomorrow we’ll get a much better understanding.” he added.
Mercedes would be hoping that the new upgrades have indeed made the car the ‘diva’ that it was supposed to be at the start of the season.
Hamilton and Bottas have had a frustrating start of the season and would want things to be smooth sailing from here on.
But if Ferrari were indeed sandbagging, we could be in for another weekend of strong tussle between the top 3 sides.
Red Bull’s one-lap pace seems to have improved but they still are a little behind Mercedes, and if that remains the case tomorrow, the duo of Ricciardo and Verstappen will have to bring their overtaking skills to the fore once again.