Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016

Hamilton: ‘Ferrari have got something up their sleeve’

2016 Australian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton suspects Ferrari will spring a surprise on the field at the first race of the new season this weekend.

Speaking in the official press conference ahead of the Australian Grand Prix Hamilton said “the whole pack looks a bit closer” behind the front-running Mercedes.

“But I think they’ve got something up their sleeve, personally, this weekend. Ferrari I think are going to be a lot closer than they talk it. Just arriving kind of on the low but they’re going to deliver high.”

Asked if he welcomed a greater challenge from Mercedes’ closest rivals Hamilton answered: “Absolutely”.

Sebastian Vettel expects Mercedes to remain the pace-setters but asked if Ferrari had enough performance to challenge them he said “I think we have”.

“Obviously the question is whether we are ready in time but I think we are on a good track, we are making progress. We did so last year, I think we did a step over the winter and as I said whether it’s big enough we need to wait the first couple of races and see but for sure our target is to turn things around.”

“I don’t think it’s a surprise when I say Mercedes is still the favourite but we’ll try to become the favourites in future.”

Vettel added Ferrari knows it is not on par with Mercedes yet in terms of one-lap pace.

“Usually qualifying is all about the raw performance of the car and we know that we are still a little bit behind,” he said. “We have been last year, obviously we try to be a lot closer this year. How close, I don’t know, I don’t have an answer yet.”

“But we have a plan, we know what we want to do, we know where we want to go so bit by bit I hope we improve and we’ll be in a better position very soon with more pole positions under our belt.”

Vettel also singled out a former team of his as ones to watch. “I think Toro Rosso has made a massive step,” he added, “They had a very strong car last year but probably the Ferrari engine this year they’ll be quite a bit stronger.”

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17 comments on “Hamilton: ‘Ferrari have got something up their sleeve’”

  1. I think we’ll see a Mercedes comfortably ahead to not have to risk anything but when they slip up a German in a red car will be there every single time.

    1. Like last year then, only 1s closer?

      Maybe even a mild slip, or suboptimal strategy would be enough for Ferrari to move in to second place.

      5 victories then?

    2. I think Sebastian could do what Fernando did in 2012 (race the pants off a car that wasn’t the class of the field, and almost win the WDC), which would make for a thrilling season. I think he has it in him.

  2. Alonso come back :'(

    1. Where’d he go!?

      1. To GP2.

        1. Fernando, baby come back.

        2. @cgturbo COTD! LOL.

      2. A sun deck in Brazil.

    2. Alonso had his chance but left with team and himself looking glum. (Funny that always seems to happen with FA.) Now Vettel has gelled really well with that team; he is capable of gathering a team around him, giving ultra detailed feedback on the car, (Webber’s book described him as “like a computer” and that he could not only drive but talk), and keeping a great atmosphere within the walls. Marchionne: “Vettel is fantastic”.

      Okay, Webber also said some very honest and not so nice stuff about Vettel, but I think his new position in life, Ferrari and fatherly passion, would have forced him to grow up. You know who I’ll be cheering for this year.

  3. If Seb is able to put his Ferrari in the mirrors of the Merc for a few laps, then Hamilton will crumble… Hopefully if Rosberg is allowed to race properly this season, then we should at least see some proper racing this season rather than the parade claiming to be racing over the last 2 seasons…

  4. LH: Er…that should be…Ferrari have got something up their Hugo Boss sleeve…perhaps a Blackbe…ah, no wait…ah, hand me my Puma’s would you?

    1. It’s a HUBLOT watch.

  5. No they not

    1. Most likely not but we will only know after a few races.

      1. The likely ones are, S-duct, Monkey Seat rear wing, revised front floor and revised front wing.

        Doubt they’ll have caught Mercedes even with those elements.

  6. This is all assuming Mercedes haven’t got anything up their sleeve. Will be very disappointing if Ferrari don’t give Mercedes a hard time this year

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