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Hamilton: It isn't just a two-horse race

Lewis Hamilton says the fight for F1 honours isn't just between Red Bull and McLaren
Lewis Hamilton has said he doesn't feel the fight for victories in F1 is a straight fight between Red Bull and his own McLaren Mercedes team.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel took victory in the first two races of the year before Hamilton grabbed his first win of the campaign in China, battling ahead of the defending champion in the closing laps to secure his place at the top of the podium.

While Red Bull were expected to be at the front, McLaren's pace came has come after a dramatic upturn in fortunes compared to pre-season testing – where it struggled for both speed and reliability with the new MP4-26.

However, Hamilton insists he doesn't feel the fight for honours is simply a two-horse race between Red Bull and McLaren, with the likes of Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault hoping to be in the mix this weekend in Istanbul.

“The other guys seem to be closing the gap gradually,” he said. “Look at Mercedes, they were very competitive in the last race. You see Ferrari, they are always there or thereabouts and it doesn't seem like it is going to take too much for them to make the quick switch and be right up there with us and also the Renaults are doing fantastic and Petrov is driving fantastically well. I think it is going to be quite close at some point. I just hope that we are able to continue to move forward as I am sure the Red Bulls will do that to.”

Despite his success last time out in China, Hamilton said he was being cautious about his chances in Turkey as he doesn't believe McLaren currently has the quickest car.

“I would prefer to arrive here cautious,” he said. “We may not be the quickest this weekend, which is definitely possible, but if we are then that will be fantastic and we will do what we can to win. In the last race we didn't win because we had the fastest car. We won because we generally out-drove and out-did them with strategy. Our car was the next quickest, but I hope we have closed the gap. But you never know again who has improved their car more than others so fingers crossed our upgrade is good enough but we will see tomorrow.

“You have to assume everyone is making a step forward. We had a good half-a-second that we needed to jump to catch the Red Bull. Whether we will have that half-a-second we will have to wait and see, but we have to assume that whatever we bring they will have brought the same or similar. But for the rest of the season, of course, we are on top of our game and we are pushing as hard as we can to win more races. I think it was a great boost for us the last race and to then have that couple of weeks break was fantastic from our guys so I was happy I was able to do that for them.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
17.04.2011- Race, Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia and Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
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17.04.2011- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 race winner
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May 05, 2011 8:13 PM

Some people find it hard to give Lewis Hamilton Credit .But then again he seems to do all right without it. When he loses its because he can't look after his tyres and when he wins its only because someone else had a problem with their tyres. Amazing. Anyway enough said on that. I think we are building up to what could be one of the best seasons we have had for a while. If the other guys can get on terms with Vettel and Hamilton it will spice it up a bit. Hope Jenson and Mark can close up a bit and Possibly Rosberg could get a look in. Really wish Schumacher could find some of the old sparkle. It would be even better if the Race stewards would just let the drivers use their instinct and race. Too much to ask for i guess.

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