Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he is unsure how Mercedes will fare against Ferrari during today’s Bahrain Grand Prix despite easing to pole position during yesterday’s qualifying session.
The defending Formula 1 world champion will start from pole for the first time in Bahrain, but is joined on the front row of the grid by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Vettel is chasing his second win of the season in Bahrain after surprising Mercedes with his race pace and tire management during the Malaysian Grand Prix at the end of last month.
Speaking to NBCSN following qualifying on Saturday, Hamilton admitted that Ferrari’s pace so far this season had left him puzzled.
“What’s interesting is in Malaysia I started on pole thinking that we were going to be fine, and we weren’t,” Hamilton said.
“In the last race I went into the race thinking it was going to be really close, and I was much, much quicker.
“And then here… I don’t know. From our understanding, they’re going to be quicker.”
However, Hamilton went on to say that he was feeling well connected with the Mercedes W06 Hybrid and will be doing all he can to fend off Ferrari in the race.
“I’m just going to do all I can in my abilities to eke some more out and try to stay ahead of them and pull away from them, but I think it’s going to be very hard,” the Briton said.
“[I’m] pretty well connected with [the car] and have a great feeling with it, and really able to pinpoint the setup so far. I’m even more so this car than last year, happier in terms of the feel.”
The Bahrain Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 10:30am ET on Sunday.