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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton delivers Mercedes F1 pre-season test verdict

The Silver Arrows will be hoping to hit the ground running in the first race of the season next weekend.

Lewis Hamilton 2024 testing
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To news overview © XPBimages

Lewis Hamilton has insisted Mercedes' pre-season test in Bahrain was "massively encouraging" despite facing further work to fight for poles and race wins.

The Silver Arrows enter the new term on the back foot after radically changing its design philosophy following two lacklustre campaigns and despite finishing second in last term's Constructors' standings, the performances of Red Bull and Ferrari far outshone those of Mercedes.

"Overall, it's been a really good test," said Hamilton after the three-day test.

"I'm really proud of everyone trackside and those back at the factory. Every single woman and man has been working tirelessly, both at Brackley, Brixworth, and here in Bahrain.

"It's massively encouraging and great to see everyone working so well together. The focus, determination, and communication is the best I've ever seen.

"We know we've got work to do and we're not yet where we want to be. We knew that would be the case coming into the test though.

"We've got a great platform to build on. We'll go away and work hard over the next couple of days to go through all the data from the test. I'm really excited for the start of the season next week and we'll be heading into it in good shape."

'A lot more lap time to find'

George Russell set the third-fastest time of the three days on Friday, finishing slower than only Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.

Giving his thoughts on Mercedes' position in the pecking order, the Briton conceded: "We're aware that there's a lot more lap time to find.

"We knew that would be the case ahead of the test, and Red Bull are looking very strong once again. Nevertheless, I'm confident that we're in a much better place than we were 12 months ago.

"The team at Brackley and Brixworth have done a great job to get us into this position and with a car that is a step in the right direction.

"We now need to focus on firstly getting the most out of the package we have and secondly, adding more downforce and trying to close that gap."

F1 2024 pre-season testing RN365 News dossier

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Monaco Grand Prix - Free Practice 2