Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team brought their pre-season to a close at the Bahrain International Circuit, with both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell believing that the team are currently behind their rivals.
Seven-Time World Champion Lewis Hamilton got his final pre-season session behind the W13 during the final morning in Bahrain, Hamilton completed 78 laps with the best of those being a 1:36.217. The British driver was some way down the timing screen, after focusing on race simulations during his running.
Hamilton believes the W13 has got potential, he does think however that the team are behind their rivals with the opening round just a week away.
“We have some hurdles to overcome and obviously next week we’ll get a much better showing of our pace. I’m sure everyone can figure out that we are not the quickest at the moment. There is potential within our car to get us there but we’ve just got to learn to be able to extract it and fix some of the problems, which is what we’re working flat-out on. I think everyone struggled out on this bumpy track and we come out of testing knowing that we still have a lot of work to do.
“There’s a confidence within the team that we can always work through whatever problem we’re facing and that’s what we’ll do. I have all the faith in the men and women back at the factories to get on top of our issues. One thing is for certain, we’ll be bringing our fighting spirit to the first race next weekend!”
“We seem a step behind our rivals” – George Russell
George Russell got his final turn behind the wheel of the W13 during the afternoon and into the evening in Bahrain, the former Williams Racing driver focused on single lap performance. During his stint Russell completed 71 laps, his best of the day was a 1:32.759.
Russell has enjoyed his first pre-season with the Silver Arrows, he too believes though that the team are currently behind their rivals.
“It’s been a productive few days and very intriguing at the same time, with so much to learn about these 2022 cars and tyres. We got through our programme with few reliability issues so great from that perspective. We were trying to get every last bit of performance out of the car and push the limits and when you’re doing that, you’re bouncing around a lot! It’s not the most comfortable but I don’t really care about comfort as long as the performance is there.
“At the moment, we seem a step behind our rivals and we have a lot of work to do between now and next week to better understand the car. There’s a lot of potential in the W13 and I believe our guys are going to get to the bottom of it, we just need to find a way to unlock our performance. The bouncing is affecting our ability to put the car in the right window and the team are working incredibly hard to find solutions for this. This is a long game and I do believe our performance is there, we’ve just got to find it.”