Lewis Hamilton says he is interested to see whether a team such as Ferrari have managed to pull "several months ahead" in the 2022 development race.
Ferrari were one of the first of F1's established teams to switch focus to this year's technical regulation overhaul, forgoing performance with their 2021 car to plough resources into the aggressive-looking F1-75.
After a poor 2020 season, Ferrari also benefitted from more wind tunnel time compared to the likes of Mercedes and Red Bull, with F1 now operating a sliding scale for aerodynamic testing, which helps the worst-performing teams to play catch-up.
Speaking to media, including RacingNews365.com, on the first day of this week's opening pre-season test in Barcelona, Hamilton admitted that it is too early to predict how the competitive order might unfold.
However, as he pondered which team might have stolen a march, he singled out the Scuderia, saying: "You would assume that Ferrari perhaps didn't do much development on [the 2021] car and just put everything into this year's car.
"Does that mean that they're several months ahead? Or a team is several months ahead? We'll wait and see."
Hamilton trusts Mercedes "100 per cent" for F1's new era
Despite this, Hamilton is confident that his Mercedes team are tackling the rules reset to the best of their ability.
Asked if he has any concerns that Mercedes might not be able to deliver him a race- or title-winning car in 2022, the seven-time World Champion hit back at the suggestion.
"Why would I ever think that? We've won eight [Constructors' titles] in a row. Why would I ever feel that way?" Hamilton responded.
Put to him as a follow up that his team might have gone down the wrong path with development, Hamilton stated: "My team don't make mistakes. Of course, there is always a risk, but we don't make mistakes.
"We've got very intelligent people back at our factory; I trust them 100 per cent. Whatever we start with, whether it's good or bad, we'll work through it. And we've always had a great development plan and workforce."
Hamilton has continued at the wheel of the new W13 on Thursday morning and will hand over to new teammate George Russell for the afternoon session.
Video: Are Mercedes playing it safe with the W13 reveal?
Mercedes showed off two different versions of the W13 during their 2022 car launch, with some key differences between the digital and physical models.