The start of the 2017 Formula One season is just three days away as the drivers gear up for the Australian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton is tipped to go all the way to reclaim the world champion title, but it might not come by easy.
Ferrari were able to match Mercedes for pace and Hamilton said Ferrari are hiding their true pace. Ferrari, who have not won a title in more than a decade, are expected to put up a real fight this season and Hamilton thinks they are the favourites to win the title this season.
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"I see Ferrari being the quickest at the moment and they will definitely be the favourites. It is interesting to see Sebastian is usually a lot more hyped, but I can tell he is excited and trying to keep a lid on it," the Daily Mail quoted Hamilton as saying.
However, Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel thinks Mercedes still hold the upper hand this season. Despite Vettel saying that, if pre-season testing is anything to go by, then Ferrari have indeed caught up with Mercedes.
"Mercedes have been in very strong form over the past three years. If a team is strong then they will build a strong car the year after, no matter what they do with the rules, so it is very clear who is the favourites. For all of us sitting here we are trying our best to catch up. How much we have succeeded we will see," Vettel said.
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Apart from Hamilton, the other driver who is expected to put up a real fight for the drivers' championship is Vettel. The two drivers have won six of Formula One's last seven championships and after three years of Hamilton vs Nico Rosberg, it would be good to see a new driver challenging the Brit.
Hamilton said that he would love to have a battle with Vettel.
"I have not had a lot of battles with Sebastian on track so of course I would love to have that. You want to be racing against the best and that is what the fans want to see, that close racing, that sheer competitiveness, and the ups and downs," Hamilton said.
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"Having more teams and more drivers at the front fighting for wins is what racing is all about so I am hoping that is the case. The more of a fight you have the more satisfying it is when you are victorious. We are up for a challenge, up for a fight and that is what I have prepared for," he added.