Getty Images

Hamilton: Ferrari ‘bluffing’, downplaying true pace in F1 testing

1 Comment

Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton believes that Ferrari is “bluffing” and downplaying its true pace through pre-season testing in Barcelona.

Mercedes enters 2017 chasing a fourth straight championship double, having claimed both the drivers’ and constructors’ titles every year since 2014.

The German marque remains the favorite to lead the pack once again this year, but appears to be facing a challenge from Ferrari judging by the laps in pre-season testing.

Sebastian Vettel posted the fastest overall time of the winter in Barcelona on Thursday, and even backed off during his best lap, suggesting Ferrari has more time in its pocket.

While Hamilton also appeared to hide his true pace on Thursday en route to P2 on the timesheets, the Briton called out Ferrari and once again said it could be ahead of Mercedes in the pecking order.

“I think Ferrari are bluffing and that they are a lot quicker than they are showing,” Hamilton said.

“They’re very close to us. It’s difficult right now to say exactly who is quicker.

“But they are very close, if not faster. Whatever the case, I can’t wait to go out and compete.”

Hamilton completed 52 laps in the Mercedes W08 EQ Power+ on Thursday and posted a time three-tenths off Vettel’s effort, and was pleased to complete some low fuel running.

“It was good to get some laps in this morning with slightly lower fuel. We worked on balance and made quite a few changes,” Hamilton said.

“I learned a lot about the car before handing over to Valtteri. We were trying to simulate something a bit more like qualifying and the car felt good on lower fuel.

“It’s great to feel it come together.”

Hamilton, Red Bull teammates both go to NASA before USGP

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool
Leave a comment

One of the more intriguing United States Grand Prix adventures occurred on Wednesday, as both Lewis Hamilton and the pair of Red Bull Racing teammates, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, all went to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston – in separate sessions – before heading onto Austin.

Hamilton posted on his Instagram story on Wednesday that he’d “quit his day job in a second” to work at NASA and become an astronaut, and the unbridled enthusiasm spoke to the three-time Formula 1 World Champion’s love of different life aspects entirely outside of racing.

“(I) had an incredible day yesterday, having a bit of a comedown today,” Hamilton said today at the FIA Press Conference. “I was just buzzed all day yesterday because it’s always been something I’ve wanted to do. It’s always something I’ve been fascinated about, space and space travel particularly.

“So to actually go there… and I had a million questions. I’m sure the guy got fed up with me. I asked a lot of questions and I got to see a lot of great things, some of the new technology they are working on and yeah, I want to go back.”

The Mercedes AMG Petronas team posted a gallery of Hamilton’s adventure on its website, linked here, and a few samples are below.

As for the Red Bull pair, the young duo of Ricciardo and Verstappen were equally awestruck by the experience.

“There really are a lot of similarities between this and F1, just the technology alone,” Ricciardo said. “I had a guest come to a race last year, when they got into the garage they were like: ‘this is like a space station’. We went to mission control here and it’s really like what we have in the Ops Room in Milton Keynes. Even the safety technology is similar. The astronauts go through the same measurements, a similar kind of HANS device etc. It’s really cool.”

Verstappen added, “There are quite a lot of comparisons, if you really want to talk about it we could go on for an hour! The control center looks pretty similar to ours. We share a lot of the same technology. It was really interesting for us to see that and I bet it would be the same if they could see ours.”

Here’s a link to Red Bull’s gallery and some teaser shots below.