Lewis Hamilton insists that Red Bull Racing are currently the team to beat in F1 after claiming that its car is 'ridiculously faster than anyone else'.
Red Bull ended the 2009 season as the quickest team on the grid and should have started its 2010 campaign with victory in Bahrain, before a spark plug failure saw Sebastian Vettel drop from the lead of the race down to fourth.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the second round of the season in Australia next weekend, Hamilton said he felt that Red Bull's pace was 'insane' and stated his belief that Vettel and team-mate Mark Webber should be further ahead of the rest of the field than they currently are.
“The Red Bull is ridiculously fast,” the McLaren man was quoted by Reuters
. “It's insane. The downforce they had on their car last year was at points just about double what we had. Even at the end of the year they had so much more than us, even though we won a couple of grands prix.
“They have got the fastest car by quite a big margin. They should be quite a lot further ahead in general.”
Hamilton added that he felt Ferrari were currently the closest team to Red Bull in terms of pace, but insisted that McLaren and Mercedes weren't far behind.
“Fernando [Alonso] I think was very quick in the [Bahrain] race and they are obviously a little closer, but it's still a good half second,” he said. “We are kind of on the same level as Mercedes I would say.
“We just did maybe a better job at the weekend but it's a battle between us and Mercedes to see who can step up and improve faster and do a better job.”