Hamilton and team-mate George Russell are expecting a difficult start to the season, admitting that their car is still far from its optimum as a result of problems adapting to the new wide-ranging regulations that have been introduced this year.
“We have learned a lot through the test and I am hoping that my guys have come with some sort of solution this weekend,” Hamilton said, “and I hope when I get into the car today it feels better. But we will still most likely have some of the problems we had last week.”
Russell added: “We are a little on the back foot at the moment as we are experiencing it worse than some of the teams but I have no doubt over time we will be able to solve it.” Russell said he expected Mercedes to be “in the mix” but added:
“You can see our problem on track. The guys are working day and night to try and find a solution, but it’s difficult. “We will get there but whether this weekend or the weekend after I don’t know. Red Bull and Ferrari are our main rivals and they do seem pretty stable.
“The Red Bull looked flat as a pancake through the corners and the car looked really well balanced. They are looking really strong at the moment.”