Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton has admitted that Ferrari is right in the hunt for victory again in Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix.
Although his Mercedes topped both free practice sessions in Shanghai today, Hamilton is wary of the threat posed by Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen over a race distance this weekend.
Crucially, he also admitted that he is not feeling comfortable on the harder of the two tyre compounds available – which will be vital on a circuit that is notoriously tough on the front tyres.
“I think we definitely have a race, like we said we would,” said Hamilton. “It’s between us and Ferrari, and Nico is quite quick as well.
“I’ve had a full day (of running) today, which makes a big difference,” he added, in reference to his compromised running in Malaysia due to an engine issue.
When asked how his stint lengths in free practice were, he replied: “To be honest, I don’t really know how long I went on both tyres.
“The prime didn’t feel so good, but it didn’t feel too bad on the option – we need to analyse compared to the others.”
Rosberg still confident
Despite only setting the fifth-quickest time in FP2, over a second slower than teammate Hamilton, Rosberg is still upbeat about his own chances this weekend.
“It’s looking good for tomorrow, we have an amazing car,” said Rosberg. “I think we’ll be fast, of course, on one lap I think we will be quickest – and then on race pace we need to review now.”
Rosberg also became embroiled in an on-track battle with the Ferrari of Raikkonen this afternoon.
“He didn’t leave me much space in Turn 2,” he said. “OK, fair play, and that’s good racing and on Sunday we might see some similar action.”