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

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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.”

Peacock to stream all Supercross and Motocross races in 2023, plus inaugural SuperMotocross Championship

Peacock Supercross Motocross 2023
Feld Entertainment, Inc.
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NBC Sports and Feld Motor Sports announced that Peacock and the NBC family of networks will stream all 31 races of the combined Monster Energy Supercross, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and the newly created SuperMotocross World Championship beginning January 7, 2023 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California and ending October 14 in the place where Supercross was born: the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The combined series will create a 10-month calendar of events, making it one of the longest professional sports’ seasons in the United States.

The agreement is for multiple years. The season finale will air live on Peacock and the USA Network.

Peacock will present live coverage of all races, qualifying and heats across both series. The 31 total races will mark a record for the combined number of Supercross and Pro Motocross events that NBC Sports will present in a single season.

NBC, USA Network and CNBC will provide coverage of all races, including the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoffs and Final, through 2023 and beyond. For more information about the Peacock streaming service, click here.

“With our wide array of live and original motorsports offerings, Peacock is a natural home for Supercross and Pro Motocross races,” said Rick Cordella, Chief Commercial Officer, Peacock. “We’re looking forward to providing fans with an easily-accessible destination to find every race all season long, including the exciting finish with the newly formed SuperMotocross World Championship.”

MORE: A conversation about media rights created the new SuperMotocross World Championship Series

The NBC family of networks has been home to Supercross for the past several seasons and this is a continuation of that relationship. The media rights for both series expired at the end of 2022, which allowed Supercross and Motocross to combine their efforts.

In fact, it was that conversation that led to the formation of the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX).

The SMX series will begin on September 9, 2023 after the conclusion of the Pro Motocross season. Points will accumulate from both series to seed the SMX championship, which creates a record number of unified races.

“The SuperMotocross World Championship adds a new dimension to the annual Supercross and Pro Motocross seasons that will result in crowning the ultimate World Champion,” said Stephen C. Yaros, SVP Global Media and Supercross for Feld Motor Sports. “We are thrilled to be extending our relationship with NBC Sports so our fans can watch all the racing action streaming live on Peacock and the option to also watch select rounds on NBC, USA Network and CNBC.”

Complete 2023 coverage schedules for Supercross, Pro Motocross and the SuperMotocross World Championship on Peacock, NBC, USA Network and CNBC will be announced in the near future.