We have to take pre-season predictions with a pinch of salt but after just five days of testing, Hamilton thinks we should all be keeping an eye on Ferrari.

Didn’t we hear these murmurs about Ferrari being on the pace last year? That didn’t work out so well, did it…

Nevertheless, Ferrari has hit the ground running and looked strong from the get-go during testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

We can never read too much into it, but reports from the track say the car looks like it handles well and could be genuinely quick.

If you’ve been living under a rock recently, you might not know that Mercedes has dominated the last few seasons.

But the new rules for 2017 represent a chance for someone else to hit the front and take the fight. Hamilton believes that team is Ferrari.

Talking to media during winter testing, he said:

“I think Ferrari must be the favourites. I think we can’t take our eyes off them because they have been doing such a great job at the moment. Red Bull look like they are quite good as well.

“We’ll see over the next days and, most importantly, over the next weeks, but it’s going to be close in the first race, that’s for sure. Just on times it looks like Ferrari might be quickest, I think… and maybe we’re very close with the Red Bull behind.”

If things are closer between the Silver Arrows, Ferrari and Red Bull, we’d definitely take that. But whether one of those two teams can jump ahead of Mercedes is a brave prediction…

Williams set the pace on the first day of the second test and racked up 168 laps with Felipe Massa too, and Hamilton hopes the team can become less ‘meh’ and return to the front:

“It would be amazing. Williams have had a serious dip for so many years, and they have been kind of strong over the last few years, and I really hope that they are up there. That’d be amazing.”