Lewis Hamilton has suggested that McLaren has yet to show its true hand with the new MP4-27 after revealing that he carried out his pre-season running with a 'nice amount of fuel in the car' and that he wasn't bothered by testing positions.
Hamilton was a busy man on the final day of testing in Barcelona last week, with the final day of the test being seen as the day when teams were running their cars in the specs likely to be seen in the opening round of the new season at Albert Park.
The Briton ended the day tenth on the timesheets but he insisted that the team was in a much better shape than it was twelve months ago and that there was still plenty to come when the real action gets underway.
"There is such a big difference from last year's winter testing when we hardly did any laps before we got to the first race," he was quoted by the Guardian
. "On the final day [in Barcelona] I did 115 laps, great mileage, so it was a positive way to end the winter testing. I think we were one of the top teams for mileage. I also kept a nice amount of fuel in the car for all my tests. I wasn't really bothered with positioning. What matters is when we get to the first race."
Pre-season testing has seen impressive lap-times from a number of teams, and Hamilton said he was expecting a closely-fought battle during the year ahead
"It looks like it could be different to the past couple of years where we've had the Red Bull much quicker than everyone else,” he said. “A couple of the teams have different exhaust solutions. Ferrari, Red Bull and ourselves have a similar solution. The others, like Lotus, has a different solution, so do Mercedes and they still seem to be quick.
"So it will be a battle as to which of the designs has the longest road of development and how far ours can go. It's going to be interesting to see who is quick and who is not."