After playing down Mercedes’ chances at the end of the second pre-season test at Barcelona, it has now emerged that Lewis Hamilton could not only win races this season but also the championship.
The Briton topped his final test day on Saturday with a time that was seven-tenths quicker than the field indicating that car had significantly improved since it first hit the track early in February at Jerez.
Although the 28-year-old played down the time he had set, he did however acknowledge that the team had progressed.
"I think we definitely will be able to win a race at some point during the season," Hamilton was quoted saying by Autosport. "I hope we can, at least, but when that will be, who knows?"
BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson, however, had more faith stating in his column that Hamilton had matured since his McLaren days and was now capable of leading from the front.
“Hamilton joined McLaren as a boy and he never really grew out of that. But he has joined Mercedes as a man and I have to say his body language has been fantastic this winter. He really is up for it,” Anderson observed.
He added that the performance in the recent test “proves Mercedes have the ability to win races and the championship this year.”
“Looking at the Mercedes out on the track, the car looks fairly impressive with both Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the wheel,” said the former designer.