Lewis Hamilton says he hopes Red Bull and Ferrari recover to challenge Mercedes to help him in the title race.

After four straight victories, Hamilton has taken a slender lead in the drivers' championship from team-mate Nico Rosberg, and Mercedes again enjoyed a more productive day than both Red Bull and Ferrari during the first day of testing in Spain. However, asked if he felt those two teams could recover quickly, Hamilton replied: "I hope so, I need it; I need people taking points from my team-mate!"

And Hamilton dismissed any notion of his motivation being affected by being in such a dominant car after his recent run.

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"If I was leading every race by a long, long way and not having to fight then I could understand not having your motivation perhaps but I've got my team-mate behind me so my motivation is high and I'm pushing as hard as I can to stay ahead."

Tuesday's running saw Mercedes focus a lot on practice starts - with Toto Wolff having said it was part of a special project for Rosberg - and Hamilton explained it would benefit both drivers.

"Starts at every race are important. Nico has been a little bit unhappy with some of the starts and generally as a team we have been OK but we can do better, so we were really trying to focus on that to try and see if we can improve some areas."

Having been unhappy with the handling of his car in Sunday's race, when asked by Crash.net if he had been able to work on some of those issues Hamilton said conditions prevented him from doing so.

"It's kind of an uneventful day really. There was nothing today that a test driver couldn't do; I was just putting the laps in and getting the starts. I had a better feeling in the car, so we didn't really change much. The track temperatures and the conditions are different so it's not really much that you can compare to the weekend."