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'Fantastic' Mercedes stronger than in 2015 - Hamilton

03 Mar 2016

Lewis Hamilton has fired an ominous warning to Mercedes' rivals by saying that the Silver Arrows are in an even stronger position heading into forthcoming campaign than they were at the same time in 2015.

Between them Hamilton and team mate Rosberg have completed 5,396 kilometres in seven days of testing - considerably more than any of their rivals, and an amount that Hamilton says is building strong foundations for another positive season. 

"The team have done a fantastic job and I feel like we're in a stronger position this year in terms of the mileage that we've done and the understanding of the car, as opposed to last year," the triple world champion told reporters.

"It's difficult to quantify how much better [our situation] is. It has obviously been a stronger winter for us. We've had fewer days [of testing overall], but I think it's really worked out well with Nico and I splitting the days. 

"Instead of driving four days each we've driven eight days each pretty much. And the good thing is the car's always changing every single day with upgrades and all those kind of things. So it's been very positive."

Unlike some of their rivals, Mercedes have focused almost exclusively on longer race simulation runs in testing, and whilst Hamilton admits that it's been somewhat frustrating not having pushed the F1 W07 Hybrid to its limits, he believes the Silver Arrows' approach should pay dividends in the long run.

"I guess we have to describe it as we're trying to build a pyramid and you can't start by building the top part," he said. "The long runs are building the base - the stability and the endurance of this car. Then we can start putting the pieces onto the top. And the bigger the base, the higher the top can be. That's what we're working on."

Asked if there was any box that had been left un-ticked so far in testing, Hamilton said: "I've [only] done three or four laps in a lower 'attacking mode' in terms of fuel, and I've done loads of mileage on race runs. 

"So I'm super ready for the race - no problem. Now it's just about trying to understand the car on the knife edge, and that I haven't experienced much, so hopefully tomorrow morning we'll get a bit of that before the first race."