Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton believes his team is the second best in Formula One at the moment.
The 2008 World Champion ditched McLaren who nursed him through the ranks and into F1, and had been ridiculed for making a step backwards.
Yet, the Mercedes’ finished third and fourth at the Malaysian Grand Prix and Hamilton believes this shows an accurate reflection of the current pecking order and that Red Bull are the only team to beat.
“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,” Hamilton said. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough fuel in the car, more so my side.
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.
I think this [Malaysia] proves that if we keep going in the direction we are heading, then there’s a possibility that we could win a race at some stage this year.”
The Mercedes’ were mildly involved in team order controversy while Rosberg pleaded with team principal Ross Brawn to be allowed past slower Hamilton but to no avail – something Hamilton apologised for post race.