Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes running at 'full potential' to beat Ferrari

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Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes is competing at "full potential" to stay ahead of Ferrari after a third one-two to start 2019 last weekend.

All the predictions of Ferrari setting the pace once again proved inaccurate in China as the Silver Arrows swept the front row and would control the race, as the Briton moved passed Valtteri Bottas at the start.

Amidst it all though, the performance of Mercedes has kind of been lost in all the focus on Ferrari, particularly given they appeared on the back foot at the end of testing.

“The key this year is to deliver near-perfect weekends – weekend-in, weekend-out – and that has to be the goal," Hamilton said.

“I think we’re over-delivering a little bit at the moment to our true, true potential, with what we have, we are operating at [our] full potential."

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The 34-year-old also warned the Brackley-based outfit won't stop continuing to push the development of the W10 regardless of their position.

"There will be more performance and improvements to come in the future, we will make steps forward," he said.

"[In Bahrain], you can’t say that we necessarily won on full merit because we weren’t quick enough to win the race, but things happened along the way and you have to put yourself in position to get the wins, and we did that.

“I think [in Australia and China], it’s full-on merit.

“They’ve got a good car, the Ferraris, it just doesn’t look like they’re extracting their full potential on the weekends," Hamilton added. "And then the execution doesn’t look as faultless as they have shown in the past.

“We all have ups and downs, but that’s where we are really diligent in making sure our processes are as accurate as they can be.”

After his victory in Shanghai, the Mercedes driver also explained why the start, which proved so crucial, also brought a lot of satisfaction.

"The first few races have been difficult for me off the line, so it's nice to finally kind of redeem myself and rectify that," he added.