Lewis Hamilton insists that Sebastian Vettel won't be able to simply run away with the 2013 F1 title, despite the defending champion winning for the second time this season in Bahrain.

Vettel has lifted the crown for the past three years and is hot favourite to retain his crown this year, having moved ten points clear in the title race with his success at the Sakhir circuit.

However, Hamilton - who has two podium finishes so far since his move from McLaren to Mercedes - insisted that Vettel wasn't going to have it all his own way and that his own team were amongst those ready for the challenge.

Related Articles

"Seb always seems to win in Bahrain, so that was no real surprise for us," he was quoted by The Sun. "I don't think it will be the same for Seb in all the races plus Red Bull have seemed to struggle in some qualifying sessions.

"The Bahrain GP could turn out to be one of the worst grands prix for us because we had a lot of problems with the car. We were on the back foot all weekend, so to come away with a fifth place when I started in ninth, was really pleasing.

"I turned a negative into a positive and now had two thirds and two fifths. When I was joining a new team, I thought it would be a lot worse than that."

While Hamilton has enjoyed a strong start to life at Mercedes, former team McLaren has endured a more trying run so far in 2013, with drivers Jenson Button and Sergio Perez clashing on track in Bahrain.

Hamilton however praised his former team for the way in which it had dealt with the incident both during and after the race.

"They had a good battle," he said. "That's the good thing about Martin [Whitmarsh], he allows his drivers to race. That's what he has always done from the time that I was there. He doesn't change in that respect.

"As long as we are all racing together, effectively and with respect for one another, it's not a concern for me. We're there to race, we just have to remember what is best for our teams and take care that we don't take each other out."