Lewis Hamilton thinks Mercedes have made a “step forward” from last season but insists there are still some issues facing the team.
The Brit will kick off his world title defence at the Australian Grand Prix next weekend looking to win his seventh drivers’ crown.
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Mercedes have been the class of the field over the last five years in the sport but winter testing in Barcelona last month showed Red Bull and Ferrari were hot on their heels.
Hamilton, though, is confident that his team are heading in the right direction as he lines up a fourth straight title.
Speaking after testing in Barcelona last week, Hamilton said: “The car’s feeling like a step forward from last year, but it’s clear we’ve still got a few issues we need to iron out ahead of Melbourne.
“I’ve got total confidence in the team and know they’ll be doing everything they can to make sure we arrive in Australia in a good place.
“The start of the new season comes around so quickly and now we go racing in just two weeks’ time. I can’t wait.”
Mercedes are ahead of where they were last season.Source:Getty Images
Meanwhile, race officials issued a statement on Monday saying they were confident the event would go ahead as scheduled.
Australian GP chief executive Andrew Westacott said: “We are all systems go and gearing up for the 25th F1 race in Melbourne next week.
“The finishing touches are being put on the circuit, Formula 1 freight and personnel are arriving in the coming days and we’re looking forward to opening the gates to the public on Thursday 12 March.
“The health and safety of everyone at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix 2020 is paramount.
“The Australian Grand Prix Corporation has robust health, safety and emergency management arrangements in place at each event and we are working collaboratively with health agencies and related government and emergency services organisations in addressing this matter.
Who ended pre-season testing on a high…? It's your final day highlights ⬇️#F1 #F1Testing pic.twitter.com/dw4jw52KCa
“We continue to closely monitor the situation in the lead-up to the Grand Prix and are taking guidance from subject matter experts, including Victorian and National Chief Health Officers and the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.
“At this stage there is no indication of further travel bans, nor is there any indication that F1 and the teams will not be arriving as usual.
“Formula 1 has again confirmed overnight that the Australian Grand Prix is going ahead and we’re looking forward to welcoming them and the teams to Melbourne.”
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission.
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