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Hamilton plays down Mercedes hopes

Lewis Hamilton plays down his chances of fighting for the 2013 F1 title despite setting the pace on the final day of the first Barcelona test
Lewis Hamilton has moved to downplay his chances of success in the 2013 F1 season, insisting that he doesn't think his new Mercedes team is yet ready to launch a bid for the title.

The Briton moves over to Mercedes this season having spent all of his F1 career to date with McLaren, the team that has guided him since he was still competing in karts.

Some of his rivals have suggested that Hamilton will still be a contender for honours this year in his new surroundings, despite the fact that Mercedes has secured just as single win since taking control of the Brawn GP team.

However, Hamilton said he felt it was too early to be thinking about the title, and that the team had to simple focus on scoring points at the start of the year and then work to improve.

"I think that people are talking us up at the moment," he told the media during a briefing at Catalunya yesterday [Friday] on the final day of testing. "(Sebastian) Vettel and Fernando (Alonso) are saying that we're going to compete for the World Championship but I really don't see that happening.

“Of course that's our goal, but you've got to remember the car was over a second, sometimes two seconds, off the pace last year. We haven't caught two seconds up and the other teams will have put another second on [the gap] this year, so we've not gained three seconds. That's just a fact.

"Hopefully by the end of the year, we'll have gained three seconds - that's our goal. But definitely not at the beginning.

"We're not looking at wins at the moment. We're hoping to get into the points and fight for top ten."

The 2008 title winner added that Mercedes was well aware of what it needed to focus on in order to make improvements.

"The car isn't fast enough to be quickest over one lap but it's not slow, that's for sure,” he said. " The engine is our strong point, but our weak point is the downforce; we need more downforce.

“That is what everybody is pushing massively hard for. The team won a race last year so they've not such a bad foundation in terms of the mechanical side of the car. But in terms of downforce, that's where we need to improve."

Related Pictures

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Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04. 22.02.2013.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04. 22.02.2013.
25.05.2017 - Mattia Binotto (ITA) Chief Technical Officer, Scuderia Ferrari and Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director
24.05.2017 - Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
24.05.2017 - Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
24.05.2017 - Mercedes garage
24.05.2017 - Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
24.05.2017 - Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
24.05.2017 - Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MCL32
24.05.2017 - Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MCL32
24.05.2017 - Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren MCL32
24.05.2017 - Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
24.05.2017 - Nikki Lauda (AU), Mercedes
24.05.2017 - Mercedes AMG F1 W08, detail
24.05.2017 - Mercedes AMG F1 W08, detail
24.05.2017 - The motorbike of Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
24.05.2017 - Press conference, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MCL32 and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10

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at his best he is the best - Unregistered

February 23, 2013 9:11 AM

Watching Lewis's interview on sky he was quite adamant that the WO4 was not ready to challenge the top teams and when asked how it compared to the Mclaren's MP4-27 he said it wasn't as quick and that the WO4 lacked down force. So if the mp4-28 has gained a second compared to last years car then the Mercs are a way behind. Karun Chandhok who was a guest on the f1 show on Sky along with Crofty believes Lewis maybe sandbagging, who Knows. Not surprised Vettel and Alonso thinks Lewis is a threat although he will be in a less performing car as both drivers have been a victim of the talents of Lewis when in similar or identical cars f1 2007 and f3 2005 comes to mind.

westy - Unregistered

February 24, 2013 7:32 AM

@umadbro.....you are defianatly mad bro.. that is most stupid comment i heard. hamilton is not overated yeah he had a fast car last year but he didnt hardly make any mistakes last season it was all down to pit stop errors and car failers altho maldonaldo, grosjean, hulkenburg didnt help his chances, to me last season he seamed to have his mouth under control and had his head in the right place , didnt hearf him moan half as much as jenson who will make any excuse for being a slow driver....my tyres didnt warm up...the downforce wernt there, this is a man thats bin in f1 almost ten years if not ten, then has to copy his teammates set-up to get it right geeeez bro sort it out look at the facts befor you make such an idiotic comment...:):)

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