Hamilton predicts 'big race' with Red Bull
31 March 2014 – Lewis Hamilton says he is expecting a "big race" with rivals Red Bull once the latter's engine partner, Renault, resolves the remaining fundamental issues with its new turbocharged power unit.
The works Mercedes team has impressed in the early stages of the campaign, with Nico Rosberg dominating en route to victory at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix and Hamilton leading a one-two finish in Malaysia.
But while the team's current pace advantage appears to be significant, Hamilton is certain that Red Bull's RB10 design is fundamentally quick, and says Renault's troubled but improving engine is the only area of deficit.
"Sebastian [Vettel] was massively quick here and applied pressure on Nico," Hamilton explained after the race.
"Their car is just as quick as ours through the corners. They are just slower on the straights. I have no doubts that Renault are going to fix that and, when they do, you are going to see a big race between us and the Bulls.
"They still have a fantastic car. I have looked at the GPS – they are the same speed through all the corners."
Hamilton sits second in the Drivers' standings after Malaysia, 18 points adrift of team-mate Rosberg.