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‘Mercedes can challenge Red Bull’

‘Mercedes can challenge Red Bull’
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Lewis Hamilton believes his Mercedes team is now Red Bull’s closest challenger and will be capable of mounting a sustained bid for Formula One glory this year.

In the wake of last weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix in which champions Red Bull were split by Sebastian Vettel’s decision to ignore team orders and pass teammate Mark Webber to win, the 2008 champion has pointed to the potential of his outfit.

In the same race, Hamilton’s teammate and friend Nico Rosberg was asked to finish fourth.

Hamilton said: ‘We are the second best team. To be that close - I was competing with the Red Bulls at some stages in the race - and to be in that position is a great feeling.’ He said that the result might have been different if Mercedes had not been forced to save fuel for most of the contest.

‘Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough fuel in the car, more so my side,’ he added. ‘I was fuel-saving from lap 25 and it was very much an impossible task to challenge those up ahead.

‘I was fuel saving at the end like you would not believe: I was coasting everywhere. I’m sure if we were all on the same fuel it would have been a different situation, so I’m confident about that.’ Hamilton thinks the form shown by Mercedes is proof that the team is now in a position to win races.

‘Definitely. I think this proves that if we keep going in the direction we are heading, then there’s a possibility that we could win.’
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