Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes have 'work to do' as Ferrari threaten

Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes have 'work to do' as Ferrari threaten

But Mercedes' Hamilton won his fifth world title with two races still left.

Ferrari are displaying a calmness that will finally push them to glory this season, according to Ross Brawn.

Hamilton will be looking to draw first blood in his battle against the Ferraris of Vettel and Leclerc in Australia, but could his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas emerge from a torrid - and winless - 2018 and put the pressure on the reigning champion?

Mercedes, seeking to become the first Formula One team to take six successive title doubles, will throw everything at Ferrari, who can afford none of the mistakes of 2018.

Williams has endured an extremely tough pre-season after an equally hard 2018 campaign that saw previous drivers Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin score only seven points between them, but the Grove-based outfit are fielding an all-new line-up in Kubica and 2018 FIA Formula 2 champion George Russell.

"We are definitely in the fight and we know we have a strong team".

Ferrari have endured a torrid decade, having not won the drivers' championship since Kimi Raikkonen lifted the trophy in 2007, or the constructors' since 2008.

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Police work at the scene of a shooting at a school in Suzano, Sao Paulo metropolitan region, Brazil, on March 13, 2019. Despite strict weapon laws, gun crime is rampant in Brazil, yet school shootings are a rare occurrence.


"I hope that this year we get to have a lot of fun".

Some paddock analysts believe Ferrari, who will pair Charles Leclerc with Sebastian Vettel this year, could be as much as four-tenths of a second ahead for the Albert Park curtain-raiser.

"That's obviously what we want but at this point it is very far away". We have experience, it's no coincidence that we are world champions so we have to be diligent and stay balanced.' He added: 'But as a driver for sure I have to figure out how can I pull more out, which I don't have the current answer for'.

"It's a big change [this season] but Mattia has been with the team longer than I think most of the people that work for Ferrari, so he's not a new face", said Vettel, speaking at the inaugural season launch event in Melbourne. I feel we have made improvements already and I'm confident we can be in a better shape.

Meanwhile Red Bull, powered by new Honda engines, have high hopes that Max Verstappen, who finished fourth in the drivers' standings previous year, can crash the Hamilton-Vettel party. "So far, the spirit is right, the team is on track, the auto feels good so let's see how we start the year".

A new set of aero regulations have also been introduced, featuring simpler front wings and brake ducts, in a bid to improve the quality of racing.

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