Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he finds it hard to see anyone other than Sebastian Vettel winning the 2013 F1 title.
Hamilton himself isn't expected to be a contender in his first year with Mercedes having announced plans to switch from McLaren for the new season, with the Briton admitting it will take him time to have a real influence on his new going forwards.
As a result, it is expected that Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren will be the main protagonists in the title fight again next year and Hamilton said he felt defending champion Vettel would be hard to beat as he goes for a fourth straight crown.
"It's going to be hard to beat Sebastian next year," he told Sky Sports News
. "I think Sebastian's going to have another amazing car.
"The car he had this year was fantastic. It's going to be an evolution of that next year. Adrian [Newey] only seems to get better with age; I think he's going to do something pretty special next year as well."
Hamilton added that he is aware of the job at hand at Mercedes next year but said he was focused on taking the team to the front.
"I like that people know that I'm a racer and I'm a winner,” he said. “But it doesn't matter where you are on the grid, you can still race.
"But I want to win - of course. That's my goal. I can't wait to get my hands on the team and the car and just try to work as quick as possible. It doesn't matter how many days, how many hours it takes. I'm willing to put all the effort in. I feel like I've got a new breath of life in me, so I'm ready for it."