Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton expects to have a “serious battle” with Ferrari and Red Bull in Melbourne. The reigning teams’ champion may have entered preseason testing favourites, but it was Ferrari to finish the eight days at Barcelona with the top two dimes, with Hamilton coming in in fourth. The Brit says he didn’t get a good window during testing, but isn’t ruling out a possible deficit to Ferrari. “I don’t know if we can go as fast as them,” he told motorsport.com. “I really don’t. We will find out. We hope we can. They have done a fantastic job, as I said. “Do we have more potential? Time will tell. Again, we have just been focusing on trying to understand this car and get the most out of it. “We’ve had up and down days and there has generally never been a perfect day, but there is a lot of potential in the car to continue to grow, but I will say the others look very, very fast.” Merecedes didn’t appear to have too many problems during testing, at least compared to their neighbours, with both Honda and Renault powered cars all working against engine and other issues. It’s easy to read too much into testing. With fuel loads and testing programmes not known, it’s impossible to really compare times. Whilst the pace of Ferrari – and other teams – looking to promise close racing at the top of the field, we won’t really know what the competition is like until the first race. Hamilton, though, appears to be taking Mercedes’ competition’s pace in testing at face value. “I think [Ferrari] haven been doing a fantastic job, and there is more to come from them,” he said. “I think their pace here this week has really been spectacular and still Red Bull are there. “I don’t know if they’ve brought their upgrade package here this week, but usually they bring it to the first race so I expect us to have a serious battle with both these teams.” For more thoughts on Formula One and the latest news, head to the Formula One sub forum here at RaceDepartment. Do you agree with Hamilton or do you expect Mercedes to pick up the pace and race off into the distance again? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.