Hamilton: Mercedes can be quickest
25 March 2013 – Lewis Hamilton believes that Mercedes has the potential to move ahead of reigning World Champions Red Bull in the Formula 1 pecking order as the season wears on, describing the Silver Arrows as the second fastest team at present.
The Briton picked up his maiden podium finish with the team in Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix, having fought with the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber in the early stages of the race. With two strong results already on the board, he is in a positive frame of mind ahead of the upcoming flyaways in China and Bahrain.
"We are the second fastest team, which is a massive bonus," Hamilton explained. "But if we keep working in the direction we're going there's all the possibilities we could be quickest at some stage this year."
Although Hamilton showed promise against the Red Bull drivers on Sunday, he was severely hindered by fuel-saving which began in the first half of the race. His third place was secured when team-mate Nico Rosberg, who finished fourth, obeyed team orders.
"We didn't have enough fuel in the car, more so on my side, so I was fuel saving from around Lap 25," he added." It was an impossible task to challenge the guys in front. At the end I was fuel saving like you couldn't believe, lifting and coasting everywhere.
"There was no way I could compete with the people around me. I'm sure if we were all on the same fuel load it would have been a different situation - I'm confident with that."
Hamilton currently lies fourth in the championship standings with a total of 25 points, having picked up respective fourth and third place finishes in Australia and Malaysia. New leader and Sepang winner Sebastian Vettel has 40 points to his name.