Lead driver of Mercedes AMG and Triple World Champion, Lewis Hamilton, has admitted he believes Ferrari will be the quickest team in the 2017 Formula 1 season.
In the Thursday press conference for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Hamilton said “I see Ferrari being the quickest.”
“Sebastian is normally a lot more hyped [and] I can tell he’s excited and trying to keep a lid on it,” claimed Hamilton.
“They’re definitely the favorites,” Hamilton reaffirmed.
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 23, 2017
Vettel himself was present in the press conference, and has been talking positively about Ferrari’s start to the 2017 campaign. McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo were also in attendance.
“Looking at the performance of the car, the concept was for a very good step forward and that’s what I felt on track,” Vettel added during the conference.
It’s no lie that Ferrari are looking strong this year, as they dominated the two pre-season tests in Barcelona during late February and early March. Of all the times set over the eight days, Ferrari set the two quickest and Raikkonen became the only driver to go into the 1:18 lap times.
And, despite this sounding strong, Ferrari have down-played claims that their new SF70-H is a championship winner. Following the conclusion of testing, Sebastian Vettel affirmed “lap times don’t mean anything,” and Raikkonen agreed, adding “the lap times … it means nothing.”
“None of us really know where we are yet,” Vettel said early on in the conference.
“It’s going to be really exciting to find out on Saturday and Sunday,” he also added.
The Australian Grand Prix will begin at 4pm AEDT on Sunday the 26th of March.