Melbourne: Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has played down his team's "favourites" tag ahead of the season-opening Australian Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday, saying technical changes make any predictions worthless. The Briton and his teammate Nico Rosberg have enjoyed the fastest times in off-season testing, leading many to tip Mercedes as the car to beat going into the Melbourne race. But the 2008 champion is not sure Mercedes warrant all the hype as he prepares for Friday's opening practice sessions at the Albert Park circuit.
"All the media are talking us up. Favourite driver, favourite team," Hamilton told reporters on Thursday. "I just don't know what's going to happen this weekend," he added.
Hamilton said a raft of significant rule changes including a return to turbocharged engines, a limit on fuel and new energy recovery systems meant it was hard to say which car would come out on top. "It's very technical this year. Everybody is in the same boat," the 29-year-old said.