Hamilton: We truly believed we were behind


So now we know, there was at least a 0.5s gap between Mercedes and Ferrari... thing is, it was the German team that was faster not its Italian rival.

Having continually claimed that it wasn't bullshit, that Mercedes was the underdog, it was hard for Lewis Hamilton to keep a straight face today after leaving Sebastian Vettel for dust.

Asked following today's qualifying session, in which he out-paced Vettel by 0.7s, if he genuinely believed going into the weekend, that Ferrari had the edge, Hamilton was defiant: "Absolutely," he replied. "There was absolutely no... since practice from the day one to the last day when we left, when we went back to the factory, we knew we had work to do, I felt like we were... I felt good that we had a decent package to work with but we were wary that we might be slightly behind, that's what we honestly thought, when they showed us the summary of how testing went.

"We were behind Ferraris from our analysis," he continued, "we truly believed we were behind. And from then until now, we haven't changed the car, we've understood the car more, we know what we have to do to move the car forwards but we haven't brought any upgrades or anything like that but as I said, the last couple of days felt really good.

"Yesterday, Ferrari were just with us I think. It looked like they were a little bit heavy on fuel initially and then they dropped their fuel and then we were quite on par in performance and we thought we were closer than we thought we would be after testing.

"Then all of a sudden they lost a bit of performance in running," he said, "I think this afternoon or this morning, which we were not expecting and so it is a real shock.

"When we look at the GPS, it's a lot of the mid-speed corners," he added. "When you look at his lap from Barcelona the car looked planted so I was just saying to him were you on fumes or something?

"It is a difficult circuit and it's quite gusty here as well so it could be a number of things but I'm really, really grateful for where our car is and where it enabled us to be today.

"I know that Ferrari are going to be pushing hard and progressing over the coming days and tomorrow I'm sure they will be putting up a good fight as they are always strong in the races."

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Published: 16/03/2019
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