Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes not 'talking BS' about Ferrari deficit

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Lewis Hamilton insists Mercedes has genuine worries about their performance relative to Ferrari to start the new Formula 1 season.

While the Briton ended pre-season testing just 0.003s slower than Sebastian Vettel, it came at the end of a tricky two weeks for the reigning champions after issues taming their new W10.

Hamilton even put the gap between the two teams at as much as 0.5s in Barcelona, though now admits it is a waiting game to find out exactly what the margin will be.

“It’s difficult to know what everyone’s doing,” he said in Thursday's press conference in Melbourne.

“Naturally we won’t fully know until we get out in the car tomorrow. Come qualifying you get a better picture and usually over the first few races is when you get an idea of where everyone stands."

That doesn't change his prior assessment, however.

"We said we have work to do, we weren’t talking BS, we have work to do,” he added.

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Something else that doesn't change in Hamilton's view is the motivation at Mercedes to respond to Ferrari's pace.

“We’ve got some incredible people within the team. The energy is really… it’s inspiring to see so many people so pumped, pulling together, the communication’s better than ever," Lewis claimed.

“Just after the test I went back and Toto rallied the troops and we all sat together.

"It’s really impressive to see so many people so passionate about their jobs and so passionate about racing, wanting to do a better job and always wanting to improve and knowing where they can improve. It’s really cool to see, really encouraging.

“I just know they’re the soldiers, they’re the real true fighters within the team and they’re going to be giving absolutely everything to make sure that we progress.”