Hamilton: Ferrari line-up the strongest
20 September 2013 – Lewis Hamilton reckons Ferrari will have the strongest driver line-up next season, following the team's decision to partner Kimi Räikkönen with Fernando Alonso.
The Mercedes driver, who is paired with Nico Rosberg, said both Räikkönen and Alonso have been driving "sensationally well" this year, tipping his fellow World Champions to provide a stern challenge when they team up from 2014 onwards.
"We want to beat them," Hamilton explained ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, when asked to offer his opinion on Ferrari's altered driver line-up. "This year we can beat them in the Constructors' but at the end of the day it is going to be a stronger team.
"Kimi is driving sensationally well this year, so I assume he will do the same next year. Fernando is also driving sensationally well. People talk about us [Mercedes] having the strongest driver line-up, but now I think it has switched over to them."
Hamilton added that he is eager to see how the partnership unfolds throughout the year, given the views of various F1 figures that the intra-team battle could turn sour.
"You have two of the best drivers in one team," said the 2008 World Champion, who occupies third in this year's standings. "It will be interesting to see the dynamics and how it plays out. I will sit back and watch. I am not going to add to any suggestions!"
But Hamilton is confident that there will be no repeat of the tension he experienced alongside Alonso at McLaren back in 2007: "I feel we have both grown and matured quite a lot. Our relationship has improved quite a lot. I am sure he has had a great relationship with Felipe [Massa] and I assume he will have the same with Kimi."