‘We are not the quickest’: Lewis Hamilton plays down Mercedes hopes

The seven-time champion believes his Mercedes car is off the pace and that his team have considerable work to do if he is to challenge for a record eighth title. With the final test in Bahrain concluded before the country hosts the first race of the season, Hamilton was downbeat about his chances. Ferrari look to be the fastest, and perhaps Red Bull and then maybe us, or McLaren. The Ferrari has been strong across testing, as has the Red Bull of Max Verstappen. Last year they appeared off the Red Bull pace in testing but emerged with a strong car that won the opening round.

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