LONDON, United Kingdom, Mar 5 – Lewis Hamilton says those who keep labelling Mercedes as favourites for Australia are doing nothing but playing games for the ‘weak-minded’.
Mercedes is chasing an unprecedented seventh successive championship double this season.
Last year the Brackley team claimed 15 of 21 race wins, nine of which were 1-2 results.
Hamilton took the title with 413 to Valtteri Bottas’ 326 with Max Verstappen in third, 135 points behind Hamilton.
If that wasn’t enough to worry rivals, Mercedes went onto set the pace in pre-season testing.
Bottas clocked the two fastest times of the six days with Verstappen six-tenths down on his best.
This has led to rivals claiming Mercedes head into the new season as the team to beat.
Hamilton, however, is not listening to the chatter.
“I don’t pay attention to anybody to anyone else through testing,” he told Sky Sports.
“We literally just focus on our job and I have no idea what other people have been saying.
“I’ve been here a long, long time so I’m aware of people bigging us up and talking themselves down so that they can potentially overachieve unexpectedly or whatever.
“It doesn’t make a difference.
“Some people think that it’s a psychological battle but it’s really not.
“Only for the weak-minded maybe but it doesn’t affect us whatsoever.”