Lewis Hamilton is providing Mercedes fans with more than just hope, they’re getting downright excited about the prospect of a competitive Merc driven by a brilliantly fast Hamilton.
On the third day of the final test before the first grand prix in Australia, Lewis Hamilton topped the time sheets again. The British champion is setting good pace on Pirelli soft compounds and while the weather has been a bit dodgy, today was the best running conditions so far.
1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m20.558s 117 Soft 2. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m21.266s + 0.708s 94 Supersoft 3. Adrian Sutil Force India 1m21.627s + 1.069s 109 Soft 4. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1m22.305s + 1.747s 34 Soft 5. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m22.468s + 1.910s 31 Soft 6. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1m22.553s + 1.995s 99 Soft 7. Mark Webber Red Bull 1m22.658s + 2.100s 59 Soft 8. Sergio Perez McLaren 1m22.694s + 2.136s 101 Soft 9. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m23.223s + 2.665s 114 Soft 10. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1m23.380s + 2.822s 46 Medium 11. Davide Valsecchi Lotus 1m23.448s + 2.890s 16 Soft 12. Jules Bianchi Marussia 1m24.028s + 3.470s 74 Soft 13. Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1m24.235s + 3.677s 126 Soft
Today’s test also saw the first running of Jules Bianchi in his new ride at Marussia as the former driver, Luiz Razia, failed to get his supporters to cut the payment for the ride.
Hamilton has been quick to suggest that his Merc won’t be as competitive as the Red Bull’s, Ferrari’s or McLaren’s but so far, he’s making the 2013 chassis look pretty darned good so far.