“That means more fun”: Hamilton names 3 teams that can challenge Mercedes based on Bahrain demo

The Formula 1 season is now just a couple of weeks away and all 10 teams were seen at pre-season testing.

The third day of testing saw Max Verstappen emerge as the quickest on the grid, followed by Yuki Tsunoda of AlphaTauri and Carlos Sainz for Ferrari.

Mercedes was woefully off the pace and star driver Lewis Hamilton was quick in his admission that the competition will be a lot sterner this year.

The Stevenage-born driver said that Alpine, McLaren and Red Bull were the most impressive teams at pre-season testing.

Red Bull was impressive in particular, with Sergio Perez registering the fastest lap time on Sunday morning, with Max Verstappen topping that in the evening.

Daniel Ricciardo put in a good shift for McLaren, while Fernando Alonso also seemed to get into his groove for Alpine.

Hamilton said that this could prove to be one of the most interesting seasons in recent years.

“Without doubt, it is quite impressive to see the speed of some of the other teams. Red Bull are looking particularly strong, and it’s great to see McLaren also looking strong, also Renault [Alpine]. I’m excited as that means more fun,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton was quick to point out that it wasn’t quite panic stations for Mercedes yet, despite things not working out according to plan in Bahrain.

“It’s better that it doesn’t go smooth now and goes smooth once we get into the racing scene.

“This is the perfect time for us to find the issues and have the problems, so I welcome that. I think everyone’s just keeping their heads down, no-one’s particularly fazed by it.

“We’re a multi-championship-winning team and we know how to pull together and keep our head down and focus on our job.”

Also read: “I guess he was pissed off and wanted to play games”: Raikkonen on Sainz collision

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