Mercedes ‘not the fastest’ in 2021

Lewis Hamilton will be leading the charge again in the new Formula 1 season. Photo: Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton says world champions Mercedes are ‘not the fastest’ team heading into the first race of the new Formula 1 season in Bahrain.

Mercedes struggled with their car in testing and Hamilton said the title fight would “absolutely” be closer than 2020, which he and his team controlled.

The seven-time champion said, “It’s massively exciting for us as a team.”

“We’re not the fastest. How are we going to work to get to where we want to be? That challenge is so exciting.”

Hamilton added the team had been working hard in the week and a half since testing finished to understand the problems they were having with their car, which was unstable at the rear.

“I am fully confident they have done the absolute best,” Hamilton said.

Red Bull appeared to be in the best shape after pre-season testing, but have been keen to play down claims that they are favourites.

Their driver Max Verstappen said on Thursday, “We will see. What matters is that you perform when it counts.

Source: BBC Sports