Lewis Hamilton was quick to single out Red Bull as the team to compete against, this year. Red Bull won the final race of last season and then added Sergio Perez to their driver lineup, alongside Max Verstappen.
When asked about Red Bull's running in the pre-season test, Hamilton said:
"They're going to be a different machine or animal this year with, I think, a real good strong line-up of the two drivers, and I think, a really good car."
"Having seen them win the last race, you can only assume they're going to be right there, if not at the front, of the first race. It's going to be a great long battle with them through the year."
Red Bull has been one of the standout cars in pre-season with many experts concluding that the energy drink company could have an edge over Mercedes going into the first race in Bahrain.
Lewis Hamilton unperturbed by early niggles
Mercedes have suffered at the pre-season test. They have faced reliability issues with their gearbox and have struggled to understand the balance of the car, with Lewis Hamilton beaching the Mercedes at Turn 13 on the second day of the pre-season test.
Early indications point towards Mercedes trailing Red Bull on pace but Lewis Hamilton remains focused on looking at the positive side of things. According to the seven-time world champion, it's best to face issues during testing before the season gets underway.
"I don't waste time worrying," Lewis Hamilton said.
When asked about his nonchalance at Mercedes' pre-season struggles, Hamilton asserted:
"That [worrying] deters you from finding the solution, so we are just working hard and focusing on getting through the short amount of testing we have and trying to be as efficient as we possibly can with it."
"I think it's better when it doesn't go smoothly, or it's better that it doesn't go smooth now and goes smooth once we get into the racing scene. So, this is the perfect time for us to find the issues and have the problems, so I welcome that."
When asked about the teams that have impressed at the test, Hamilton said:
"I think Red Bull are looking particularly strong. And it's great to see McLaren also looking strong, also Renault [Alpine]. So I'm excited, also, because that means more fun."
Mercedes struggled at the pre-season test in 2019 when Ferrari looked like the class of the field. However, they bounced back before the season hit Australia for the first race and took pole by seven-tenths of a second.
Lewis Hamilton and the Silver Arrows will hope for a similar timeline this season, as racing officially gets underway in Bahrain on the 28th of March.