Lewis Hamilton: Ferrari need to raise their game to compete with Mercedes

Winner Mercedes' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas (L) shakes hands with second placed Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton after the Formula One Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the Baku City Circuit in Baku on April 28, 2019. (Photo by Alexander NEMENOV / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Valtteri Bottas shakes hands with Lewis Hamilton after his win in Baku (ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)

After Mercedes secured a fourth one-two finish of the 2019 season in Azerbaijan on Sunday, Lewis Hamilton has Ferrari need to raise their game if they want to compete with the all-conquering team.

With Hamilton finishing second behind team mate Valtteri Bottas in Baku, his second victory of the season, Mercedes became the first team in history to have locked out the top of the podium in the first four races of a season.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished third with the German 35 points off the top of the drivers’ championship, with Charles Leclerc in fifth. The Italian manufacturer is already 74 points below Mercedes in the constructors’ standings.

And as the F1 road show heads to Europe, Hamilton thinks Mercedes’ current dominance is just the beginning.

“Until they start performing at the level we are at, then this is how it’s going to be,” said Hamilton.

“We definitely didn’t expect to have the performance we have but I’m glad we do. I just think the team is out-performing itself.

“They’re going to have to pick it up if they want to fight us.”

Four-time world champion Vettel was in agreement with his long-time rival.

“He is right, we need to pick it up,” said Vettel, who is on a losing streak which has now extended beyond eight months – his last victory at August’s Belgian Grand Prix.

“We need stronger pace. It is as simple as that. We need to be faster.

“It’s like a Rubik’s cube where you have to have everything in the right order.

“We have a good car, but we’re not using it in the way to get the results we should be getting.”