Lewis Hamilton says only 'time will tell' whether Mercedes' rivals have closed the gap to it during the winter as the defending F1 champion maintained his solid pre-season development work in Spain.

Still feeling the after-effects of the fever that truncated his mileage on the first day of the test, Hamilton got a full day in the Mercedes W06 this time, completing a further 101 laps en route to the third best time.

Indeed, Mercedes' form during testing has raised eyebrows, with many other teams predicting it hasn't shown close to its full potential as yet.

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However, when asked whether he himself had had the chance to gauge his opposition, Hamilton admitted Ferrari appeared to have made the biggest step forward, even if he maintains it is hard to know the exact state of play before Australia.

"I haven't really been looking at anyone else, but it looks like the Ferrari has potentially picked up its pace and the Red Bull is just as quick, if not just improved its engine, and Williams will be there. I imagine they have made a step, but so have we and time will tell what how big a step they have made compared to us."

Reflecting on his time in the car, Hamilton says that even though the W06 is an 'evolution' of last year's dominant title-winning machine, there is still much to learn.

"Everything is new and different. Even though it is an evolution of last year's car, so much has changed so you are re-learning your way again. I have a new engineer and he does things differently, but better in many respects, so it is learning a new way to work with him and understanding the information given. I think as long as we keep moving forwards, the time back at the factory will be important."