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Hamilton: Ferrari still favourites for the title

Despite his dominant win at the Canadian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton insists Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari are still the favourites to win this year's title.

Hamilton slashed Vettel's championship lead by 13 points in Canada after securing pole position and taking victory by 20 seconds. Vettel still leads the title race by 12 points after finishing in the top two at the opening six rounds -- a level of consistency Hamilton has been unable to match all year.

Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes.
Following his win in Montreal, Hamilton hoped his "rollercoaster" form was behind him, but he still thinks Vettel's ability to grind out results is the difference between Ferrari and Mercedes so far.

"I think they are still favourites, based on that they have had a more consistent season so far -- we've had a bit more of an up and down season," he said. "It's not been bad by any means, but the thing is you go from one race to another, you have one race where you don't finish, one where you finish seventh and you're not the favourites, and then one race you win by 20 seconds and then you're seen as the favourite again.

"I still think they are the favourites in terms of the fact that their car does seem to work everywhere, but I think there's more unlocked potential in our car and I am hoping we will continue to get stronger and stronger through the year as we iron out those creases and we become more and more consistent. I am hoping by August and coming into September, I hope by then we are the favourites -- that is what we work towards."

Hamilton said the competition between Ferrari and Mercedes this year had also seen his team up its game.

"It's the first year in a long, long time when the team is competing against another team and it brings a different fire, a different energy from all the individuals within the team. What I have experienced when I go around to the different departments in the factory is that everyone knows if they put that little bit of extra time or a little bit of extra work it can make the difference in winning and losing to the Ferraris.

"As where in the past when we were battling ourselves, within Mercedes, you can imagine the guys were like 'it doesn't really matter if I don't work that extra bit harder because we have a buffer of half a second quicker or whatever it is, we won't even bother, we can just go home and put your feet up', but now the guys are excited they can utilise the greatness within themselves.

"Even for myself when I arrive on a race weekend, I know why where I am and having the opportunity this weekend to try and extract that extra bit of a tenth that I feel I have within myself, that can hopefully make that difference in the car in this battle."

Asked if he would consider a move to Ferrari when his current Mercedes contract expires, Hamilton added: "That's not something I am thinking at the moment, all I am thinking is beating the Ferrari.

"I have made it no secret that I am a huge fan of the team, I am a big fan of Ferrari in what they've achieved in the history of motorsport and even in the normal world in terms of the cars that they make. Who knows what the future holds. I am really enjoying the fight with Ferrari and admiring them for their strong competition."

Source: http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/story/_/id/19706401/lewis-hamilton-ferrari-favourites-title

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