Following his final testing outing Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes’ performance is “quite good” despite having “plenty of problems”.
“I think we’ve had a good winter test,” said the Briton.
“But it’s not been perfect, we’ve found that we’ve got plenty of problems that we are trying to iron out.
“I don’t know how long it will take to iron out but that is never a bad thing necessarily to discover through testing.
“But otherwise, I think our performance has been quite good in the sense of laps we’ve got, the mileage, apart from yesterday, and the processes and things we discovered along the way.
“I’ve no idea where we stand compared to the others, the team will probably have a better idea of that.
“I don’t know where everyone else is, but I understand the car well. I am comfortable and confident in terms of getting a car in Melbourne and knowing that I can attack and extract the most from it.
“But if that’s going to be enough to be ahead of the others we will find out.”
During testing Mercedes suffered two power unit problems with their works team and two more with Mercedes’ customer team Williams. Naturally Hamilton was asked if reliability is a concern for the team.
“It’s a concern for sure. Normally in this pre-season testing we’re much more confident in the reliability, so it’s not been perfect for us. I think we’re on our second engine already.
“It’s definitely not an easy or relaxed scenario for us, but I have every confidence in the guys back in the factory that they will analyse and do the best they can in the next two weeks to make sure we start off on the right foot.”
There has also been a lot of talk about Ferrari hiding its true pace and downplaying its 2020 chances, but Hamilton remains unconcerned by that.
“I don’t pay attention to anybody else through testing. We literally just focus on our job and I literally have no idea what other people have been saying.
“Of course I’m aware of people bigging us up and talking themselves down so they can potentially overachieve unexpectedly or whatever, but it doesn’t make any difference.
“People seem to think it’s a psychological battle but it’s really not.
“Only for the weak-minded maybe, but for us it doesn’t affect us whatsoever,” concluded the Briton.