'Mercedes not in a position to win' – Hamilton
22 February 2013 – Lewis Hamilton does not believe that Mercedes will be in a position to win races during the early stages of the 2013 season, with top ten finishes his primary target at present. The 2008 World Champion says although the F1 W04 chassis is a good foundation, the car needs more downforce if he is to fight at the front of the field.
"We're not looking at wins at the moment," Hamilton commented in the Circuit de Catalunya paddock on Friday. "We're hoping to get into the points and fight for the top ten. It's not fast enough to be the quickest over one lap but it's not slow, that's for sure.
"We need more downforce, that's the name of the game at the moment. We need to improve reliability in some areas, such as the sensors, but otherwise we just need as much downforce as we can get."
Hamilton went on to explain that predictions made by a selection of rivals, which include victories from the offset, have talked up his chances a little too much.
"People are talking us up at the moment," he added. "Vettel and Fernando (Alonso) are saying that we're going to be competing for the World Championship, but I really don't see that happening at the moment. "Of course that's our goal, but you've got to remember the car was more than a second off, sometimes two seconds off, last year.
"We've not caught up two seconds and the teams will have put another second on this year. We've not caught up three seconds, that's just a fact. Hopefully by the end of the year we will have gained three seconds, but definitely not at the beginning."