Sir Lewis Hamilton says he is looking forward to seeing how Mercedes’ upgrades fare at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
Following an underwhelming start to the season, Mercedes find themselves third in the standings, just a point behind Aston Martin but 130 points off leaders Red Bull.
The Silver Arrows hoped to close the gap to Max Verstappen when the European leg of the calendar began but it is only now that they’ll discover whether or not they have.
Initially, they prepared the upgrades for Imola but that race was cancelled due to flooding in the region, and while they were on the W14 car for Monaco the unique nature of the famous street circuit meant it would be impossible to tell if their pace had improved.
Catalunya meanwhile is, as Hamilton put it, the ‘perfect’ track to test the speed of their car, with the circuit in Barcelona frequently used for pre-season testing in the past.
‘We didn’t get a lot of data from last weekend, just because you had to take off sensors because the car was heavy and you had to be light, so this is where we’ll get the most information,’ the seven-time world champion told Sky Sports.
‘You can’t really feel a lot in Monaco at all because it’s just not one of those [circuits]. You would never choose to test an upgrade at Monaco.
‘This is the perfect test track – a lot of medium/high-speed corners – so we should get a real good understanding of where we stand compared to the others. I think there are some other people bringing upgrades this weekend.
‘From what I felt at [Monaco], I’m really intrigued to see what it feels like here because I think our race was pretty decent last year here even though we had the puncture at the start, but I’m hoping it’s a better weekend.’
Hamilton’s teammate George Russell also believes Spain will be a great test for the Mercedes upgrades, but is fearful that rivals Aston Martin, Ferrari and even Alpine could ahead of them in the pecking order.
‘I think there’s a big variety between Saturday and Sunday. When you look at Saturday performance, we’re certainly behind Ferrari and Aston Martin, maybe the Alpine as well,’ the British driver said.
‘But when you then look at Sunday performance, we’re probably a little bit closer to Aston Martin but this weekend is going to be a big test. We’d like to think we can jump ahead of Ferrari, close the gap to Fernando [Alonso] and Red Bull to hopefully get P2 in the constructors.’
‘We’ve made a lot of changes since the Bahrain test and we learned pretty quickly into the season that the car wasn’t where we wanted to be. This as I say should be the new baseline and we can perform from here.’
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