Mercedes confidence is an ominous sign after Barcelona F1 testing | Giles Richards

Mercedes look like being the team to beat again, while Ferrari and McLaren both have much work to do

The dominant force in F1 for the past four years, Mercedes appear to show no sign of relinquishing their stranglehold. Last year’s championship-winning car, which was quick but temperamental, has undergone an evolution over the winter that looks alarming for their rivals. They clocked the most laps with 1,040 and, although only seventh on the time sheets, their pace in race simulations was relentlessly good, half a second a lap up on Ferrari and eight-tenths on Red Bull. The team chose not to run the car on the fastest hyper‑soft rubber, unconcerned about setting a single lap marker, and Lewis Hamilton, who concluded last season comfortably on top and is generally careful not to heighten expectations, declared they had made a significant step forward. Whether they have banished the diva characteristics of last season has yet to be seen but this quiet confidence is hugely ominous.

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Source: Formula 1

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