Hamilton warns rivals over Mercedes's pace
4 April 2014 – Lewis Hamilton has warned his rivals that Mercedes's W05 felt better throughout Friday practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix than it did during pre-season testing last month.
Mercedes has dominated the early part of the 2014 season with a win apiece for Hamilton and team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Hamilton topped both sessions in Bahrain with the nearest non-Mercedes car over a second down on the Briton's fastest time.
"The car feels better than when we were testing here," he said. "Balance-wise, it was feeling really good. There are still some tweaks we need to make it feel perfect, but I'm feeling good."
Hamilton was nonetheless cautious over his position and reckons team-mate Rosberg will provide a challenge.
"Nico's very quick, he's very competitive," he added. "Today you don't really know what fuel those people [Hamilton's rivals] are on so it's difficult to really know where you stand. Tomorrow we'll get a better understanding."
Rosberg was second quickest in both sessions and anticipates that the cooler conditions during the evening - the time when qualifying and the race will take place - is making tyres less of an issue than before.
"Tyre temperatures are going to be less of an issue in these conditions - it's more dropping out of the 'window' at the end of the stint," he said.
"Everything we have to do differently driving at a different time of the day, so the whole testing that we did at this track is not really relevant anymore. That makes it a whole new challenge and very interesting."