Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes have ‘mountain to climb’ ahead of Formula 1 2023 opening Bahrain GP
Lewis Hamilton: “We realise that we have a mountain to climb”; Ted Kravitz believes Aston Martin are ahead of Mercedes in early pecking order; watch Bahrain GP live on Sky Sports F1 next weekend, with track action from Friday to Sunday
Last Updated: 26/02/23 8:50am
Lewis Hamilton admits Mercedes have a “mountain to climb” after a difficult three days of pre-season testing, while Sky Sports F1’s Ted Kravitz believes Aston Martin are faster ahead of next weekend’s opening race.
Mercedes came into the test in Bahrain with the most questions to answer and, while the former Formula 1 world champions solved their bouncing car issues, they still struggled for grip and pace, which was masked by Hamilton posting the second-fastest time behind Sergio Perez on the final day.
Red Bull have been installed as favourites for the Bahrain GP – which is live on Sky Sports F1 from Friday to Sunday – by Ferrari and Mercedes, and Hamilton opened up on his team’s struggles after the test.
“It’s been an interesting few days, it’s never easy,” Hamilton said. “There’s been a lot of discovery.
“I think the thing I’ve been most impressed with is, it’s my 11th year with the team and everyone’s turned up with the same mentality, working hard, no one’s been complacent.
“We realise that we have a mountain to climb and no one’s fussed, everyone has just kept their heads down so I’m really proud of that.”
Hamilton had earlier said Mercedes had the same “balance limitations” from last year despite their hopes they would be title challengers from the off this season.
“We’re not quite where we want to be but it’s a good platform to start from,” he added.
“It’s a much more beautiful world to be in when we’re not bouncing but we do have some pace to pick up in a straight line.
“We have some things we need to work on, it’s still not perfect and we’re still not able to match the Red Bulls, or the Ferraris, currently.
“Who knows where we’ll be next week, we’ll just try to stay positive.”
Ted: Aston Martin are ahead of Mercedes
Sky Sports F1’s Ted Kravitz in Bahrain
“I’ve got Aston Martin third and potentially even a little bit closer to Ferrari. That’s to do with Fernando Alonso’s race run.
“In Saturday’s Bahrain GP [long runs] such as it was, it would have been Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso on the podium ahead of the Ferraris and the Mercedes.
“Aston Martin had Red Bull worried from Day One, Adrian Newey (Red Bull’s chief technical officer) mentioned them in the teams he’s concerned about, the car is essentially good, it has some nice ideas. Alonso’s race run on Saturday was *chef’s kiss*.
“I’m going to be slightly reticent and say that Aston Martin are third and Mercedes are fourth at the moment.
“We need to see a big step from Mercedes over the next few days for them to be solidly third.
“When Hamilton came out and said that the porpoising was largely gone but some of the ‘balance limitations’ of last year’s car are still present, I couldn’t believe it. I thought, hang on, this is the Mercedes that is supposed to be ok!
“But they’re still suffering from the problems they had last year.”
Formula 1 is back! Watch the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix live on Sky Sports F1 next weekend. The track action starts on Friday while Sunday’s race begins at 3pm. Get Sky Sports